Apr 7, 2014 8:46 PM by Greg Dingrando

Former councilman admits guilt of child neglect

COLORADO SPRINGS - A former Colorado Springs city councilman accused of child neglect admits he's guilty.

Charles Wingate was arrested last May and had his 13 year old autistic son taken away from him when police found the boy naked inside a home full of dead rodents and feces.

The jury had already been selected in the case and lawyers were ready to go Monday morning, but it all changed when Wingate changed his plea to guilty.

When the plea deal was made we went by the old condemned house and Wingate was there. The house was no longer condemned and he was living there again so we asked him about the latest development.

"Like i said before I'm not going to have comments regarding a case with my kids," said Wingate.

That's a much different story from the one he told us last year when the allegations of the filthy conditions first came up.

old wingate stuff
"Allegations of abuse of my child are false. I believe when total facts of the case come out that will be determined," Wingate said back in May of 2013.

But Monday he surprised everyone including the prosecution.

"He decided that he did not want to go to trial and he accepted plea deal offer we had out there," said Jim Bentley with the District Attorney's office.

The deal includes two years unsupervised probation and no jail time.

Considering the severity of the neglect some might wonder if its enough. The prosecution said it is.

"People who would say this is a slap on the wrist are people who don't understand the kind of scrutiny you get when DHS is involved in your life and when children are taken away," said Bentley.

It even allows for at least the possibility Wingate gets his son back.

"Unless you have situation that is totally out of control that they don't think it is safe to bring the child back to. I don't think that would be the case here," said Bentley.

Even though this is an unsupervised probation, he will still have someone regularly checking in on him and his house because his wife was also involved in the neglect and she was given probation with supervision.

It will be up to DHS to decide if the home is suitable for the child to return.




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