Convicted Killer Prosecuted to Fullest Extent of the Law in Connection with Domestic Violence Hatchet Attack

Modified: January 13, 2016 5:28pm


First Assistant District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 50 year-old David Wingate pleaded guilty as charged to Assault in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree in State Supreme Court. These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Wingate did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

On September 1, 2015, Wingate attacked his girlfriend with a hatchet and two kitchen knives, causing stab wounds to the depth of the bone, a wrist fracture and nerve damage. Wingate also assaulted his girlfriend’s eleven year-old daughter. The attack was apparently motivated by Wingate’s desire to steal money from the child in order to pay debts owed to his crack dealer. Because of the prompt response of Buffalo Police Officers Kelly Craig, Mark Vara and David Acosta, Wingate was apprehended while still in possession of the bloody hatchet but without further injury or incident.

No stranger to harming others and committing violent felonies, Wingate served a seventeen year state prison sentence in connection with a previous conviction for first degree manslaughter. Wingate faces up to 32 years in state prison when sentenced on November 17, 2015 at 2:00pm by State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges.


The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney James Marra, who is assigned to the Erie County District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau. First Assistant DA Flaherty added: “Obviously, such criminal conduct has no place in a civilized society. This case, once again, demonstrates both our lack of tolerance for such conduct and the vigorous manner in which the Erie County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute domestic violence offenders.”