DARLINGTON — Armin and Jeremy Wand will have their preliminary hearings on first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and arson charges as scheduled in Lafayette County Circuit Court Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
Jeremy Wand was found competent to stand trial on the charges after a competency hearing Thursday morning.
Circuit Judge William Johnston denied a request by Wand’s attorney, Frank Medina, for an additional examination after Medina claimed Wand wouldn’t be able to assist in his own defense.
When asked at the beginning of the hearing, Wand said, “I understand what’s going on.”
Craig Schoenecker, M.D., a Milwaukee forensic psychiatrist, testified via telephone that Wand has “substantial capacity to understand the nature of the court proceeding,” and that Wand does not have “psychological symptoms or cognitive disabilities” that would prevent him from understanding.
Schoenecker testified that in his hour-long interview with Wand, Wand said parts of the criminal complaint “he felt were erroneous.” Wand told Schoenecker that he intended to plead not guilty, that “he was not actually directly involved … and told what he referenced as a lie to the police to get them to stop pressing and badgering him with questions.
“He stated to me that he was aware that the police had taken statements, which he referred as a ‘lie,’ to use against his brother,” said Schoenecker.
Schoenecker said he reviewed 200 to 250 pages of Argyle School District records as part of his examination.
Medina said competency should require “substantial capacity not only to understand but to assist with his own defense,” including if Wand “can conceptually understand … capacity may be understanding, but it’s not ability. … We don’t have any certainties here, and I think we need some certainty.”
Johnston said Schoenecker’s report showed Wand was “intimately familiar with the content of the criminal complaint” as well as “typical courtroom proceedings.”
Armin and Jeremy Wand are in the Lafayette County Jail in lieu of bail of $1.4 million and $1.2 million, respectively.
The two face three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Armin Wand’s sons, Allen, 7, Jeffrey, 5, and Joseph, 3; two counts attempted first-degree intentional homicide for injuries to Armin Wand’s wife, Sharon, and their daughter, Jessica; and arson for a fire at the Wands’ Argyle house Sept. 7. Armin Wand faces an additional count of attempted first-degree-intentional homicide for allegedly attempting to put Jessica Wand back into the burning house.
The intentional homicide charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. The attempted homicide charges carry a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison. The arson charge has a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The criminal complaint said Armin Wand planned to kill his family in a house fire to collect insurance proceeds. According to court documents, the Wands had $16,000 in renters’ insurance, $100,000 in life insurance on Sharon Wand, and $10,000 in life insurance for each of their four children.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Saturday that Sharon Wand is recovering and “steadily improving” after she suffered burns to 65 percent of her body and lung injuries in the house fire.
Sharon Wand has had four skin grafts for the third-degree burns over 55 percent of her body, with two more scheduled, the State Journal reported.