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Man accused of triple homicide ordered to up to a year of evaluation

Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:07:41 PM CST   Updated On: Oct 31 2013 12:40:40 PM CDT

Jaren Kuester in court Sept. 27.


A man accused of killing three people in rural Lafayette County could spend up to a year in a mental health facility.

Jaren Kuester, 31, was ordered Thursday to up to 12 months at Mendota Mental Health Institute with a review every three months. He was also found not competent to refuse medications and could be ordered by the court to take medications if he refuses.

Plans for a plea deal for Kuester were put on hold in September when he refused to answer questions from the judge. The judge tried to conduct a plea questionnaire with Kuester in court, but Kuester refused to respond. Kuester stated, "If you tell me I can remain silent, I will remain silent."

The judge said then questioned whether Kuester was competent to stand trial and set a competency hearing. A plea deal and potential trial were put on hold.

Kuester is accused of killing Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe Thoreson and brother, Dean Thoreson in April at the couple's farmhouse in the small town of Wiota. He is facing five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide. Kuester pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to the charges June 3.

Prosecutors said Kuester drove from Waukesha to Green County April 26, abandoned his SUV, stripped off his clothes and ran through the woods. Police said he emerged from the woods in Lafayette County where he broke into the Thoresons' home.

A status hearing is scheduled for Nov. 25.

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