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Defense asks for new venue, judge in Argyle homicide case

Published On: Nov 13 2012 09:00:31 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 13 2012 01:39:43 PM CST

An Argyle man charged with killing his three young sons and trying to kill his wife and daughter by setting fire to their home has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Lafayette County Circuit Court.

Armin Wand’s brother, Jeremy, also waived his rights to the hearing Tuesday.

Public defender Guy Taylor is also asking for a change of venue and a new judge in the case.

"My motion suggests to the court that outside of the Madison media market would be necessary because of the intense scrutiny that this case has received," he said.  "That scrutiny has, I think, tainted the jury pool."

Prosecutors allege Armin, 32, and Jeremy, 18, set fire to the house Sept. 7 to collect life insurance on Armin Wand's wife, Sharon, and their children. Allen, 7, Jeffrey, 5, and Joseph, 3, died in the fire. Sharon Wand, 27, rescued the couple's daughter, Jessica, 2, from the fire.

The brothers' father, Armin Wand, told WISC he believes the two are innocent.

"I just want whoever did it punished," he said. 

Doctors at University of Wisconsin Hospital said Sharon Wand is recovering remarkably, considering the condition she was in when she was admitted in early September.

Jeremy Wand was found competent to stand trial during a hearing Nov. 1.

The criminal complaint said Armin told his brother he'd pay him $300 to help start the fire that killed Wand's three children and severely burned his pregnant wife.

The complaint stated both men have confessed to setting the fire so Armin Wand could make a "fresh start."

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