DARLINGTON — Investigators will be able to see the Argyle School District behavioral records of Jeremy Wand, one of the defendants in the fatal Argyle house fire.
The state had requested Wand’s school records as part of its investigation into the fire that killed Allen Wand, 7, Jeffrey Wand, 5, and Joseph Wand, 3, Sept. 7.
Jeremy Wand and his brother, Armin D. Wand III, face charges of first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and arson in connection with the house fire.
Armin and Jeremy Wand will have their preliminary hearing Nov. 13 at 8:30 a.m. They are in the Lafayette County Jail in lieu of bail of $1.4 million and $1.2 million, respectively.
In a hearing in Lafayette County Circuit Court Tuesday morning, the Argyle School District had sought to have the state subpoena of Jeremy Wand’s student behavioral records quashed on the grounds that student behavioral records are confidential under state law. Jeremy Wand is a student at Argyle High School.
The school district’s attorney, Eileen Brownlee, said it was “not an issue that relates to progress records or attendance records or directory records.” Brownlee said “disclosure of behavioral records” are not permitted “in any proceeding except for a juvenile” court action.
Assistant Attorney General Richard Dufour argued that state law “allows the disclosure of pupil records to law enforcement in compliance of a court order,” specifically fire investigators, for “an investigation of any alleged delinquent or criminal activity.” Dufour argued that the legal definition of a juvenile is someone older than 10 but younger than 17, and therefore, he said, the law “must involve something more than the records of juveniles.” Had the Legislature intended to include only juveniles in the law, the law would not have “used the different word ‘pupil,” he said.
Circuit Judge William Johnston denied the school district’s motion to quash the subpoena.
“It appears that the intent of the statute is to give access to the records of an adult pupil … only for the purpose of an investigation,” he said.
Johnston ruled that the Wands’ attorneys, Guy Taylor and Frank Medina, will be able to see Jeremy Wand’s records before the state sees the records. Johnston also ordered the records to be sealed.
Investigators will be able to see the student records of the Wand boys. The guardian of the boys’ mother, Sharon, is agreeing to release the records, Dufour said.
Sharon Wand is in UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison.
Another motion in the case has been withdrawn after an agreement between the Wands’ attorneys and the owner of the house where the Wand boys died.
The agreement will postpone razing of the house until after Oct. 31, and will allow the Wands’ investigator access to the house.