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Kuester bound over for trial on homicide charges
Plea hearing June 3; $3 million bail continued
Jaren Kuesters attorneys, Jane Kleven (left) and Guy Taylor (right), confer with Kuester during his preliminary hearing in Lafaeytte County Circuit Court Monday afternoon. - photo by Photo by Tallitha Reese

DARLINGTON — Jaren Kuester was indicted on three counts of first-degree intentional homicide Monday afternoon.

Kuester, 31, Milwaukee, is charged in connection with the deaths of Gary Thoreson, 70, Chloe Thoreson, 66, and Dean Thoreson, 76, in Gary and Chloe Thoreson’s Town of Wayne home April 27.

Kuester was indicted on the intentional homicide charges, as well as charges of burglary and auto theft, three days after his first appearance in court Friday afternoon.

Circuit Judge William Johnston continued Kuester’s $3 million bail Monday.

The lone witness Monday was Lafayette County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Joseph Thompson, who interviewed Kuester after Waukesha police arrested him at his father’s Waukesha apartment April 28. Thompson said Kuester initially didn’t want to speak to Thompson and an agent from the state Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, but contacted them one day after he was arrested.

“Jaren had told me that he had killed three people,” said Thompson. “He indicated that he struck the individuals with a poker and that he used a knife” on Chloe Thoreson as well.

Thompson testified that Green County sheriff’s deputies found Kuester’s car abandoned April 27.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Guy Taylor, Thompson said Kuester “indicated he was driving in a westerly direction, and he thought people were following him, so he pulled onto a side road, and he thought people were following him, and so he pulled into a driveway and abandoned the vehicle.”

Under direct examination by Lafayette County District Attorney Katherine Findley, Thompson said Kuester “had disrobed and was running cross country, came to a barn at the top of a hill, and stayed in the barn” until he got cold and saw a house where it appeared that “no one was living in the residence.”

Kuester will plead to the charges June 3 at 10 a.m. He faces mandatory life sentences if convicted of intentional homicide, 12½ years in prison and a $25,000 fine on the burglary charge, and six years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the auto theft charge.