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Father to serve up to 15 years in infant son’s death

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FARMINGTON -- Mary Wing feels that if someone had listened to her, maybe baby Ian Wing would have had a chance to live.

Back in the early 90s, as Mark Wing's second wife, she repeatedly tried to get help for her abusive husband. Marriage counseling didn't work. And police kept telling her that without witnesses, nothing could be done about the domestic abuse, she said.One day, after Mark Wing had gone to work, she ended the five-year marriage by packing and going to live with her mother.

Within a year, Mark Wing remarried. And out of that union, a son, Ian, was born. But seven weeks after his birth, Ian was too weak -- his body too broken by repeated abuse -- to continue living.

Monday, 2nd District Judge Jon Memmott ordered Mark Wing, 34, to spend up to 15 years at the Utah State Prison for Ian's Feb. 23, 1996, death. Wing, of Clearfield, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, after admitting last summer to having squeezed the child repeatedly and caused, among other injuries, 29 separate rib fractures.

"I am just here on Ian's behalf," Mary Wing said before leaving the courthouse.

"His attorney made him out to look like he was now better," she said. "We had a really volatile relationship. . . . (He had a) really bad temper. That's why I can't believe he changed overnight."

Acknowledging that some punishment was needed, defense attorney Troy Rawlings unsuccessfully asked Memmott to allow his client to serve his sentence at the Davis County Jail on weekends with work release on weekdays so that he could continue to support his fourth wife and two step-children.

"During these past three years, Mr. Wing has not continued a pattern of criminal behavior at all," Rawlings said. Except for Ian's case, Wing has not faced substantiated charges of abuse or neglect in connection with the six step-children he has lived with in four marriages.

Rawlings also told the judge Ian's death had been the result of Wing's stressful lifestyle at the time.

"He snapped. He exploded. He took his anger out on Ian. . . . But he's not at risk of this happening again," Rawlings said.

Prosecutor Rob Parrish told the judge the 29 separate rib fractures, two broken thighs and a broken arm happened during three phases lasting at least five weeks.

"If the baby had suffered them at the same time, he would have died because he would have been mechanically unable to breathe," Parrish said. For five weeks, the baby suffered "pretty severe torture."