Brenda A. Wing, 28, and her lawyer finalize her sentencing documents in Lewis County Superior Court.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – A Lewis County judge yesterday decided that standing by and doing nothing while her husband inflicted abuse upon a toddler that led to his death merited the same lengthy prison sentence for Brenda A. Wing.
Twenty-eight-year-old Wing, a mother of three, was given 34 years and eight months for first-degree manslaughter.
The couple who are originally from the Vancouver area were taking care of a 3-year-old boy in their Vader home. Jasper Henderling-Warner died on Oct. 5, 2014.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt called it the worst case of child abuse he had ever seen.
“The two months worth, over two months, of torture here,” Hunt said. “As I recall, no single incident was fatal; Jasper’s body simply gave up.”
“This is the reason accomplices are equally as guilty,” he said.
The court hearing yesterday afternoon in Chehalis brings to an end the case that began 15 months ago.
The family had been living in the Vader house about two weeks when the Wings called 911 to say the toddler was unconscious and not breathing. Jasper’s 21-year-old mother had given the couple temporary custody while she was homeless and looked for work out of state.
There was no trial to bring out all the facts and details of what transpired. Lewis County prosecutors entered into a complex plea agreement because they did not know what actually happened.
Among the autopsy findings was facial trauma, including two lower-front teeth missing, as well as scrapes and bruises and also that Jasper had contracted MRSA, a drug-resistant staph infection.
Some of the statements from the couple given to investigators, and tested with polygraphs, which have been revealed during numerous court hearings suggest it began on the return home from a beach trip to Oregon.
Brenda Wing told her husband Jasper had placed his hands over their infant child’s mouth, prompting Danny Wing to strike Jasper in the face several times in the back of their van.
Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead has said that the little boy was being hit and conditioned until he would say it was someone else who had been harming him.
The plea agreements offered the Wings an opportunity of recommendations they be locked up for about 16 years if they truthfully described what occurred.
Halstead, the judge and defense attorney John Crowley spent a great deal of time yesterday discussing what the language in the supplemental agreement meant and whether Brenda Wing held up her end of the bargain. The deputy prosecutor successfully argued she withheld material information from investigators.
Halstead read from some of her statements: “Sometimes I would hold him down, while Danny was hitting him; this was to keep him from getting hurt worse” and “I remember flicking Jasper in the mouth.”
It turns out, while Brenda Wing told her husband Jasper assaulted their baby in the back of the car, he hadn’t, according to Halstead.
Halstead told the judge Brenda Wing admitted the lie to one of her relatives in a phone call from the jail, and said she didn’t know why she had said that to her husband but said it was what started all of the abuse.
When Danny Wing was sentenced in September, his lawyer compared the couple’s treatment of Jasper to a “Cinderella affect.”
Brenda Wing’s convictions, from the pleas she made last year, also include third-degree child assault, two counts of witness tampering and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Halstead asked the judge yesterday to give her 55 years in prison, the same request he’d made regarding her husband.
“I’m not going to go back through all of the facts,” he said. “I think the court’s aware of what’s in the file.”
Crowley requested a sentence of 14 and a half years, contending his client had not failed in the requirements of the plea agreement.
“She feels great remorse for whatever role she did play,” Crowley said.
Brenda Wing declined to speak on her own behalf.
Jasper’s mother, flanked in the first row bench by four women friends, advocated for the maximum sentence when she addressed the judge.
Nikki Warner recalled her child’s amazing and silly laugh and told the judge she asked people she considered family to take care of him while she got back on her feet.
“I could not believe it when I found out the living hell my son suffered,” she said.
Jasper would have celebrated his fifth birthday next week, she said.
“Why did you lie about Jasper doing mean things to your son that never happened?” Warner asked the defendant.
Also speaking to the court was Ruth Crear, a 14-year volunteer for the fire department, who was the first to arrive to the Vader house that evening.
She urged the judge to put Brenda Wing away for as long as he could.
“He was 3 years old, he couldn’t defend himself,” Crear said.
Crowley said his client will appeal.
For background, read ” Vader man gets 34 years for toddler death” from Friday September 25, 2015, here