The Seaside mother accused of having a role in her 2-year-old daughter’s murder pleaded guilty Thursday in Clatsop County Circuit Court to first-degree manslaughter and two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment.
Dorothy Ann Wing, 25, will be sentenced to more than 15 years in prison, but only after she truthfully testifies at the trial of her live-in boyfriend Randy Lee Roden, 27, who is accused of murdering and torturing Wing’s daughter.
Roden’s trial is scheduled for April. If Wing refuses to testify or is deemed to have lied during her testimony, the District Attorney’s Office will set aside her pleas and she would be back to square one regarding her charges, according to the plea agreement.
The couple allegedly committed the crimes between Oct. 31 to Dec. 20, 2014. An autopsy found Wing’s daughter, Evangelina Marie Wing, was the victim of homicide and apparently died from blunt force trauma. She would have turned 4 on Jan. 22.
Wing is accused of manslaughter for the neglect and maltreatment of her daughter, a factor in her death. The criminal mistreatment charges relate to Wing leaving her two sons, ages 3 and 6, unattended with Roden over a period of time that likely endangered their health and welfare, according to the indictment.
“She was a beautiful child, full of life and promise,” Judge Paula Brownhill told Wing. “And (Wing’s sons) also were just sweet little guys, and their lives have changed forever because of you. You are their mother. It was your responsibility to keep them safe and you didn’t do that.”
The couple told investigators about incidents where the 2-year-old girl fell coming from a bus stop, fell off of a toilet and got in tussles with Wing’s two sons, who were found injured the same day Wing’s daughter was found dead. The boys were hospitalized and placed in state protective custody.
Wing made numerous statements about injuries to her children that occurred while she was at work. She made statements about a broken arm that her daughter suffered while in Roden’s care, again while she was out of the house.
Wing was originally indicted on counts of murder by abuse, first-degree manslaughter and six counts of criminal mistreatment. She was facing about 25 years in prison. She was sentenced Thursday to 35 months, out of the pending 190-month sentence, while she waits to testify at Roden’s trial.
Roden is serving a 100-month sentence at Two Rivers Correctional Facility near Umatilla for a probation violation from a previous domestic violence conviction.
He violated his probation by possessing marijuana, oxycodone, and methadone and failing to report that he moved in with Wing. The drugs were discovered during a search warrant of Roden and Wing’s Seaside residence Dec. 20, 2014, the day the toddler was found dead.
Roden was indicted on 15 charges related to the murder of Wing’s daughter. He is accused of intentional maiming or torture of the toddler and having a pattern and practice of assault.
The charges carry the possibility of the death penalty.
Given the potential for capital punishment, Roden’s defense lawyers are requesting the trial be delayed giving them time to investigate “anything in the life of the defendant which might mitigate against the appropriateness of the death penalty.”
The defense claims it needs time to interview former teachers, neighbors, romantic partners and friends, many of whom live on the East Coast.
In addition, the defense needs to work around the schedules of expert witnesses. One expert in particular, Dr. Janice Ophoven, is considered the heart of the defense’s case. Dr. Ophoven, a pediatric forensic pathologist, will testify that the reported result of torture is in fact a dangerous flesh eating virus known as MRSA. She will claim the toddler likely died from complications due to a severe methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, rather than from blunt force trauma.
Dr. Ophoven is not available in April, when the case is set for trial.
The defense will argue for a delay at a hearing later this month.