DARLINGTON — Armin G. Wand III will be sentenced on three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of felony murder in Lafayette County Circuit Court today at 1:30 p.m.
Wand, 33, Argyle, pleaded guilty Feb. 15 to three counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths of his three sons, Allen, 7, Jeffrey, 5, and Joseph, 3. Wand also pleaded guilty to an amended count of felony murder for the death of the Wands’ unborn baby as a result of the house fire.
Wand also pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide for injuries in the house fire to Wand’s wife, Sharon. Wand also pleaded guilty to a charge of arson for the house fire in Argyle Sept. 7.
The first-degree intentional homicide charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. Circuit Judge Thomas Vale will set the date of first parole eligibility today, or he can rule that Wand can never be granted parole.
The maximum sentences on the other charges are 60 years for attempted first-degree intentional homicide, 40 years for arson, and 15 years for felony murder.
Two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide were dismissed but will be used as read-ins at sentencing. Those two charges were for injuries to the Wands’ daughter, Jessica, 2, and for Armin Wand’s alleged attempt to put Jessica back in the house after Sharon Wand got her out of the house.
The Feb. 15 pleas ended Wand’s trial one week before jury selection was supposed to begin, and two days after some of Wand’s statements to state investigators were ruled admissible for his trial.
Vale ruled Feb. 13 that statements Wand made to investigators Sept. 7, the day of the fire, and Sept. 9, when he tried to contact Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation agents were admissible. Statements Wand made one day after the fire to DCI investigators were ruled inadmissible.
“We were prepared to go to trial,” said Wand’s attorney, Guy Taylor, after the Feb. 15 hearing. “We were committed to the trial, and we had not anticipated that there would be any movement — neither side, and there was movement on both sides, and that’s how the agreement was achieved.”
Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte said Feb. 15 that the only sentencing agreement is that the felony murder and arson sentences will be served concurrently.
Korte said Wand also agreed to testify against his brother, Jeremy, 18, — who faces four first-degree intentional homicide charges, two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and one count of arson — if Armin Wand is called to testify. Korte afterward called the agreement “some additional evidence that the state will now have to deal with the other case.”
Wand has been in the Lafayette County Jail since his $1.4 million bail was set after his first court appearance Sept. 12. Wand’s bail was revoked after his guilty pleas.
Jeremy Wand’s trial on his seven charges is scheduled to begin July 13. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for May 10 at 1:30 p.m., and a motion hearing is scheduled for June 12 at 1:30 p.m.