Dean Wetter, husband of Heart singer Ann Wilson, was issued a suspended sentence Friday for an August 2016 incident where he choked his wife’s twin nephews. But who is Wetter, and how has the assault he pleaded guilty to in March put the future of the Seattle-based rock legends in jeopardy?
Looking back on how Dean Wetter assaulted Ann Wilson’s then-16-year-old nephews, Seattle PI wrote that the incident took place in August 2016, as Heart was performing at a concert in Auburn, Washington. The two boys, who are Ann’s sister Nancy’s sons with ex-husband Cameron Crowe, had asked Wetter’s permission to look at their aunt’s tour bus, but were asked to close the door behind them so that the dogs inside the bus wouldn’t escape. Joined by their stepsister, the teenagers forgot to close the door, which “immediately” upset Wetter.
According to records from the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office, Wetter slapped and punched one of the boys and grabbed him by the throat. When his twin brother tried to break things up, he was also choked by the older man “to the point that he couldn’t breathe.”
The Seattle Times wrote that Wetter was arrested on assault charges after the incident, with bond set at $10,000. He had pleaded guilty on March 9 to two counts of fourth-degree assault.
Ann’s husband, Dean Wetter, was arrested for physically attacking Nancy’s children while the siblings were… https://t.co/MUTbyaMr9g
— I-95 (@I95rocks) April 14, 2017
The story of how Dean Wetter and Ann Wilson met is an interesting one. Typically, musicians tend to enter relationships with or get married to their fellow entertainers, but Ann took a different path when she married “multi-dimensional community” worker Wetter on April 25, 2015. On her wedding day, Ann told People that she and Wetter had been longtime friends who had reconnected decades after their first date.
“Dean and I first met in the ’80s and went on a date where we both got smashed and I tried to seduce him. Like the gentleman he is, he declined. Years passed, we got back in touch after we had both grown up, and Pow! – It worked! Did it ever!”
While Ann Wilson referred to Dean Wetter in a recent tell-all interview with Rolling Stone as an intelligent and outspoken person who could rub some people the wrong way as a “free spirit,” her sister Nancy had a different impression of Wetter, even suggesting to the publication that he may have some “issues,” particularly when it comes to young people.
“We were really trying to get to know the guy and it takes time to know anyone. He’s one of those crankpots and he’ll kind of mouth off about kids. What I didn’t know is that he’s a guy that had some issues that really came between me and wanting to see him anytime soon.”
In the months that have passed since Wetter assaulted Nancy Wilson’s twin sons, he appears to have shown little remorse for his actions, as Nancy also related to Rolling Stone. According to Nancy, it was Ann who had approached her to apologize for her husband’s behavior, but Dean had “never, ever” made an attempt to say sorry and explain his side.
In Dean Wetter’s defense, Ann Wilson told Rolling Stone that she understands her husband was “really provoked” by Nancy’s sons, and while she doesn’t condone what he did to her nephews, she still sees Dean as a “person of extremely high moral fiber.”
The Inquisitr wrote earlier this week that the Dean Wetter incident has driven a wedge between Ann and Nancy Wilson, as the sisters had “struggled through 20 more shows” afterwards. The Wilson sisters are, for the first time since they began performing in the late 1960s, now requesting separate dressing rooms and only communicating via text messaging. Further putting the future of Heart in jeopardy is Ann’s comment that she and Nancy are beginning to have creative differences on the band’s direction going forward.
Dean Wetter received a suspended sentence of 364 days for assaulting Ann Wilson’s nephews, which effectively means he will not spend any further time in prison. As part of a plea agreement, he will be on two years’ probation, and will be required to attend counseling sessions and avoid contact with his nephews.
[Featured Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]