Man pleads to killing his wife
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
A city man has pleaded guilty to charges associated with the 2011 death of his wife and soon will be headed to prison.
Daniel Wellington, 57, of Youngstown, was slated for trial Wednesday before Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on a single murder charge. In a last-minute agreement with prosecutors, however, Wellington decided to plead guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge.
The murder charge stemmed from allegations that Wellington strangled his 44-year-old wife in the couple’s East Side home. Wellington has no prior criminal record.
The court has ordered a pre-sentence investigation be completed on Wellington before the court imposes sentence. A sentencing date had not been set.
Wellington could be sentenced to up to 11 years in prison.
Prosecutors will recommend 10 years in prison when Wellington returns to court for sentencing.
Police were called to the Wellingtons’ Knapp Avenue residence for a report of a woman not breathing.
When officers arrived, Wellington was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on his wife; paramedics were unable to revive her.
Wellington told police he and his wife argued, and she jumped on him. He said he grabbed her around the neck to get her off of him, and she hit her head as they rolled off the bed.
After Wellington was arrested after that initial police response and statement made to officers, he was charged with voluntary manslaughter and released on a $25,000 bond. The voluntary manslaughter charge could have netted Wellington a three-to- 10-year prison term.
Wellington, upon determination that his wife likely had been strangled to death, was re-arrested and charged with the higher crime of murder and made to post an additional $25,000 before being released from the county jail. The murder charge carried a potential life sentence.