A judge says a Milwaukee man accused of killing three people in a southwestern Wisconsin farmhouse must stand trial.
Prosecutors have accused 31-year-old Jaren Kuester of killing Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his brother, Dean Thoreson last month at their farmhouse near Wiota in Lafayette County last month.
Judge William Johnston ordered Kuester to stand trial at the end of a brief preliminary hearing Monday. He pointed to testimony from a sheriff's investigator who said Kuester told him he committed the homicides during an April 29 interview.
Kuester is being held in jail on $3 million cash bond. Johnston set his arraignment for June 3.
The man accused of killing three members of a family in Lafayette County is due back in court.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday afternoon for 31-year-old Jaren Kuester of Milwaukee.
Kuester 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.
Kuester's public defender, Guy Taylor, later told reporters after an initial appearance last week that Kuester is being held in isolation. Taylor says 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.
An attorney for a Milwaukee man accused of killing three people says his client is confused.
Jaren Kuester faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his brother, Dean Thoreson. Prosecutors say Kuester broke into Gary and Chloe Thoreson's Lafayette County farmhouse on April 27 and killed all three of them with a fireplace poker.
Kuester made a brief initial appearance in Lafayette County Circuit Court Friday. Judge William Johnston set a preliminary hearing for Monday.
Kuester's public defender, Guy Taylor, told reporters outside court Kuester seems competent but confused about reality and delusion. Taylor says he wants to get to a preliminary hearing quickly so he can find out what evidence prosecutors have and is considering an insanity plea.
The man accused of killing three people in a southern Wisconsin farmhouse last month is due in court.
Jaren Kuester is expected to make an initial appearance in Lafayette County Circuit Court Friday afternoon. The 31-year-old Milwaukee man is charged with killing 70-year-old Gary Thoreson; his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson; and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson, on April 27 in the Town of Wiota.
A criminal complaint says Kuester told investigators that challenges in his life made him feel like things were "crashing and burning around him,'' so he got in his SUV and started driving, eventually abandoning the vehicle in Green County. It says Kuester discarded his clothes and came upon the Thorseson home where he killed the victims with a fireplace poker.
Lafayette County prosecutors say the suspect in a recent triple homicide broke into a house for warmth and then used a fireplace poker to kill the victims as they returned home.
Jaren Michael Kuester was charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The 31-year-old was also charged with burglary and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent.
The criminal complaint says Kuester has a history of mental-health issues. His vehicle was found in a Green County field, and officers tracked him down to a Waukesha home, where he had what appeared to be dried blood on his feet.
He told investigators he killed the victims because he didn't want them to get help.
A message left with his public defender, Guy Taylor, was not immediately returned Tuesday.
You can read the criminal complaint here: View Document
The parents of a man suspected of killing three retired farmers in southwestern Wisconsin say they warned authorities just before the killings that their son was delusional and potentially dangerous.
31-year-old Jaren Kuester, of Waukesha, is jailed in Lafayette County on three tentative charges of first-degree intentional homicide. His parents, Kathleen and Jim Kuester, tell the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/ZywQp6 ) the killings never would have happened if Waukesha County mental health professionals had hospitalized Kuester as they requested.
But Peter Schuler, the head of the Waukesha County mental health system, stands by its assessment that Kuester didn't meet the criteria defined by state law that would have allowed the county to hold him.
Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe, and brother, Dean, were found dead in South Wayne last Sunday.
Kuester is being held on $3 million bail and will be back in court May 10th.
Bail has been set at $3 million dollars for Jaren Kuester.
He's the man accused of killing three people in Lafayette County.
The Waukesha man appeared in court via a video-conferencing link from the Lafayette County Jail.
According to Sheriff Scott Pedley, "Lafayette County District Attorney Kate Findley requested bail be set at $3 million. The Court heard argument from defense attorney Guy Taylor who requested a lesser amount of $300,000."
Kuester's bail was set at $3 million cash. He will next be in court May 10 at 1:00 p.m.
Dozens of friends and neighbors gathered at a church in the small Lafayette County community of Wiota to mourn three family members found slain in their rural home.
Rev. Luke Smetters told those attending a prayer vigil at Wiota Lutheran Church Wednesday night that community members need time to slow down, regroup and grieve the loss of Dean, Gary and Chloe Thoreson. The men were brothers. Gary was married to Chloe. Their bodies were found Sunday at their South Wayne home by another brother.
Former Wiota Lutheran Pastor Lisa Nelson says the Thoreson family is a part of the fabric of the community.
The State Journal says no one from the Thoreson family was present at the vigil.
Animal-shelter officials in Waukesha say a local man being held in connection with a triple homicide in Lafayette County made a scene a few days earlier when he demanded that a dead dog he dropped off two weeks ago be returned to him alive.
Lynn Olenik is the executive director of the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County. She says the 31-year-old suspect came in a few weeks ago with a clearly dead dog.
She says he returned Thursday asking for the live dog back. She says he didn't seem to understand the dog was dead, and he screamed that the staff members would pay for the dog with their lives. Police took him away in handcuffs.
A message left Wednesday with his public defender was not immediately returned.
The Waukesha man held in connection with a triple homicide in Lafayette County might not be charged until next week, as investigators say they're still sifting through a large volume of evidence.
The suspect has been jailed in Lafayette County since early Monday. Sheriff' Scott Pedley says the 31-year-old is being held on three tentative charges of first-degree intentional homicide.
Pedley says a judge conducted a review within the first 48 hours of the man's detention and ruled that he could continue to be held.
On Sunday the bodies of 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson were found in a South Wayne home.
A message left Wednesday with the suspect's public defender, Guy Taylor, was not immediately returned.
Relatives of three family members found slain in their Lafayette County home describe the victims as loving people who were involved in their community.
The bodies of 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson were found Sunday. A statement released by the family through their church in Wiota says the three could regularly be found cheering on the Wisconsin Badger or enjoying a lutefisk supper.
Gary Thoreson served as president of the Black Hawk School Board in South Wayne. He was a farmer and computer programmer. His wife, Chloe, worked at the Monroe clinic for more than 20 years. The Thoreson's have two children.
Dean Thoreson was a farmer who was married to Rose Thoreson. He served on the Lafayette County Board.
The church attended by three slain family members in Lafayette County is planning a prayer vigil in the wake of their deaths.
Wiota (weye-OH'-tah) Lutheran Church Pastor Luke Smetters says a service will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. Smetters said Tuesday that it's important for the community of faith to come together in ``times like this.''
Smetters says Gary, Chloe and Dean Thoreson were active members of the church. Their bodies were found Sunday in a home in South Wayne. A Waukesha man wanted in connection with their homicides remains jailed in Lafayette County.
Smetters says the family of the victims is ``shocked, devastated and raw as they are filled with utter sadness.''
Lafayette County sheriff's officials have identified three people found dead in a house near South Wayne.
Authorities say 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson, are homicide victims. Their bodies were found Sunday.
A man wanted for questioning in the homicides was arrested in Waukesha. Police Lt. Tom Wagner says the man was taken into custody without incident later Sunday. He has been taken to Lafayette County.
The man was found in Waukesha after the sheriff's department issued an alert for a missing pickup truck registered to one of the victims. The pickup was found at an apartment building in Waukesha and the man was arrested.
Officials haven't yet said how the victims died or a possible motive.
Lafayette County authorities say they have found a person of interest in connection with a triple homicide.
Sheriff Scott Pedley says the danger to the community is over.
The disturbing events began to unfold late yesterday morning, when a family member discovered the victims at their home near South Wayne.
Later in the day, police found a truck belonging to one of the victims at an apartment complex in Waukesha.
Investigators don't believe the possible suspect knew the victims or had any ties to Lafayette County.
Reports have identified him as 31-year-old James Keuster of Waukesha. Early Saturday morning, Green County authorities were searching for Keuster after they found his abandoned vehicle.
Keuster had been described as partially naked, and in an altered mental state.
As for the victims, the sheriff's department has not yet released their identities.