53° F

Judge sends triple homicide suspect to arraignment

Published On: May 13 2013 02:21:38 PM CDT
Updated On: May 13 2013 09:14:12 PM CDT

The man accused of killing three members of a family in Lafayette County was bound over for arraignment Monday after a preliminary hearing in Lafayette County Court.

Jaren Kuester, 31, is charged with killing 70-year-old Gary Thoreson; his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson; and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson, last month at their farmhouse near Wiota.

Lafayette County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Joseph Thompson testified at the hearing. He told the court Kuester told him April 29 that he had killed three people with a fireplace poker and knife.

Thompson said Kuester told him he broke into Thoreson home after observing no one was there and that Kuester was confused during their interview on dates and times. Thompson said he surveyed the Thoreson home after Kuester's interview, and that evidence corroborated Kuester's account.

"He had a pair of sandals on (during the interview) and I could see that his feet had blood on him as well as his hands and his arms," Thompson said in court.

The defense suggested Kuester could've gotten those injuries from his run through fields and woods, which he made naked.

Kuester's public defender, Guy Taylor, later told reporters after an initial appearance last week that Kuester is being held in isolation. Taylor said he's investigating Kuester's mental state and whether he may have been using drugs. He also said he's considering an insanity plea.

Kuester is being held on $3 million bond. His arraignment is scheduled for June 3.

Prosecutors declined comment after court. Members of the Thoreson family attended the hearing, but left quickly after adjournment.

  • Lindsay Lohan in court new

    David McNew/Reuters

    Worst celebrity drivers

    NBA star Dwight Howard's Florida driver's license has been suspended after he failed to pay a ticket for running a red light, Reuters reported. In turns out Howard was ticketed an astonishing 10 times for running red lights in the Orlando area, and received four speeding tickets, 12 citations for failing to pay highway tolls and one citation for failing to change his address on his driver's license. Take a look at the worst celebrity drivers.

  • California fires night firefighters

    Noah Berger/Reuters

    Wildfires rage out of control in California

    Hundreds of homes have been destroyed by wildfires raging out of control in drought-stricken California. Thousands more are threatened.

  • Scotland independence crowd

    REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

    Celebs react to Scotland's independence vote

    Scots head to the polls today to vote on the future of their country. The outcome could end Scotland's 307-year union with England and Wales as Great Britain -- and see it launch into the world as an independent nation of some 5.3 million people. Take a look at celebrity (both Scottish and not) reactions to the referendum.