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Suspect in triple homicide in court Friday
Bail of $3 million set during probable cause hearing; parents tried to commit him
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DARLINGTON — The man accused of killing three people in the Town of Wayne April 28 will make his first in-person appearance in Lafayette County Circuit Court Friday afternoon.

Jaren M. Kuester, 31, Waukesha, has been in the Lafayette County Jail since his arrest in Waukesha the afternoon after the bodies of Gary Thoreson, 70, Chloe Thoreson, 66, and Dean Thoreson, 76, were found in Gary and Chloe Thoreson’s home.

A judicial probable cause determination for Jaren M. Kuester was signed by Lafayette County Circuit Judge William Johnston April 30. The probable-cause determination allowed Kuester to remain in jail before formal charges were filed.
In addition to homicide, burglary as well as theft were listed within the probable cause determination as potential offense.

“Details regarding those offenses have been developed during the ongoing investigation and we are limited in our ability to elaborate due to the need to preserve the integrity of this major case investigation,” said Lafayette Sheriff Scott Pedley in a news release.

According to the news release, Johnston ordered the probable cause statement sealed for at least the next 60 days, with a potential of extension. Search warrants issued during the investigation have also been sealed “in order to effectively investigate and prosecute criminal cases.”

“Preventing the interference with the ongoing investigation outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the information contained in these critical documents, at this time,” said Pedley.

Bail of $3 million cash was set for Kuester Thursday. Lafayette County District Attorney Kate Findley requested the amount of $3 million, while defense attorney Guy Taylor presented an argument to the court requesting a lesser amount of $300,000. Kuester appeared in court via a videoconferencing link from the Lafayette County Jail, according to a news release.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Monday that Jim and Kathleen Kuester, Jaren’s parents, had been trying to have their son admitted to a mental hospital days before the homicides, saying their son was delusional and potentially dangerous.

Waukesha County mental health professionals disagreed with Kuester’s parents, and did not detain him, the State Journal reported.

Peter Schuler, director of Waukesha County Health and Human Services, told the State Journal that “We felt we responded in the ways we could.”

Schuler said after an April 25 assessment of Kuester from Robert Walker, one of Waukesha County mental health system’s crisis managers, Kuester didn’t meet any of the criteria defined by state law that would have allowed the county to detain him against his wishes, reported the Journal.

Kuester’s appearance is scheduled for 1 p.m.