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Wands get new judge, seek new trial location
Preliminary hearing waived
Wand preliminary hearing
In Lafayette County Circuit Court in Darlington Tuesday morning were (from left) Jeremy Wand, his attorney Frank Medina, Armin Wand III, his attorney Guy Taylor, and state assistant attorneys general Roy Korte and Richard Dufour. The Wands waived their preliminary hearing and were bound over for trial on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and arson.

DARLINGTON — The trials of Armin and Jeremy Wand will continue, but with a new judge, and possibly in a new location or with a jury from outside the area.

The Wands waived their right to a preliminary hearing in Lafayette County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.
Armin and Jeremy Wand face three counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and one count of arson in connection with the Sept. 7 Argyle house fire that killed Armin Wand’s boys, Allen, 7, Jeffrey, 5, and Joseph, 3, and injured Armin’s wife, Sharon, and their daughter, Jessica, 2. Armin Wand faces an additional attempted first-degree homicide charge.

Circuit Judge William Johnston bound over the Wands for trial.

However, the Wands’ attorneys filed several motions Tuesday morning, beginning with a motion to substitute another judge for Johnston.

After the court hearing, public defender Frank Medina, Jeremy Wand’s attorney, called the motion “one of those things attorneys do.”

The plea hearing will be scheduled by the new judge, Green County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Vale. Assistant Attorney General Richard Dufour asked to have the new judge hear the Wands’ pleas.

Wands’ attorneys are also seeking to have the trial moved outside Darlington and outside the Madison media market.
The motion by Guy Taylor, Armin Wand’s attorney, said the “pretrial publicity in the entire Madison area media market has been so intense, inflammatory and unremitting that a fair and impartial jury may not be had in Lafayette County or in the entire media market.”

Taylor said the trial could be moved, or a jury could be brought in from outside the area.

The motion cited stories about the Wands’ family background, “prayer vigils for the victims and details on the condition of Sharon Wand.” The motion included online and print copies of stories from the Darlington Republican Journal, the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, and WISC-TV and WKOW-TV in Madison.

Taylor also filed a motion to separate the two cases on the grounds that Jeremy Wand implicated Armin Wand in the criminal complaint.

After the hearing, Armin Wand Jr., the Wands’ father, maintained his sons’ innocence.

“I still think he’s innocent — both of them,” he said to reporters.

Meanwhile, a soup supper and bake sale to benefit Jessica Wand’s aunt and uncle, who are Jessica’s temporary guardians, will be held at First English Lutheran Church, 215 W. Pine St., Platteville, Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Donations are being encouraged.

The soup supper is being sponsored the UW–Platteville Working with Families of Children with Disabilities class.