The sentencing date for Danny Wing, the man accused in the death of Vader toddler Jasper Henderling-Warner in 2014, has been set for July 26.
The hearing, which has been pushed back twice for various reasons, comes after a series of complicated legal wranglings that ended with Danny Wing opting against withdrawing his guilty plea in the matter after the state Court of Appeals allowed him the right to do so.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer, who represents the state in the cases against Danny Wing and his wife Brenda Wing, said Danny Wing’s matter needs to be settled first because — from the prosecution’s standpoint — he might be called to testify on the state’s behalf in the case against Brenda Wing.
Both Wings were granted the option of withdrawing their guilty pleas in the death after the prosecutor’s office made an error in calculating their offender scores, which sets the standard sentencing range in criminal matters. Both Wings had, at that point, already pleaded guilty in the death and been sentenced to more than 34 years.
Danny Wing opted against withdrawing his guilty plea in September. Brenda Wing withdrew hers in October. She has a jury trial slated to start the week of Oct. 14.
During a hearing in Lewis County Superior Court Thursday afternoon, Meyer and Danny Wing’s attorney, Sean Downs, discussed the future of the case. Specifically, they set schedules for when they would submit their briefs outlining their arguments and when a sentencing hearing would be held.
A sentencing had been set for the week prior; however, it was stricken after Meyer said he had yet to receive a transcript of a previous hearing — something he said he would need to ensure accuracy when preparing his brief, which is set to be filed sometime before June 14. Downs, who was not present during the hearing, but rather spoke over the phone, will file his response to Meyer’s brief in the weeks that follow.
The sentencing was set for July 26, and will focus on a single count of assault — the charge for which the offender score was erroneously calculated. In a previous interview, Meyer said that the outcome of the sentencing will not affect Danny Wing’s overall time spent behind bars. The 34-year sentence for a count of manslaughter will still stand, he said, and the lesser sentence on the assault charge will be engulfed by the greater sentence.
Henderling-Warner’s 2014 death was the result of prolonged abuse, The Chronicle reported at the time, citing the Lewis County Coroner’s Office. The Vader toddler had a septic MRSA infection and evidence of healing fractures, burns and bruises. He had been under the care of the Wings in the months leading up to his death.
In a previous interview, Brenda Wing’s attorney, Shane O’Rourke, said her defense will analyze her level of involvement in the death.
“Our position in the case is … we’re going to be exploring what her specific involvement was in this, as opposed to lumping them all together and saying well they’re all just in it together,” O’Rourke told The Chronicle.