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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Armin J. Wand III and his brother Jeremy L. Wand have each been charged with Three Counts of First Degree Intentional Homicide and One Count of Arson with Intent to Defraud, all felonies in regard to an arson fire that occurred on September 7, 2012. Armin J. Wand III also has been charged with Three Counts of Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide; Jeremy L. Wand has been charged with Two Counts of Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide. An initial appearance for both men is scheduled for 1:00 pm on September 12, 2012, in Lafayette County Circuit Court.
According to the criminal complaint, on September 7, 2012, Armin and Jeremy Wand started a fire at the home of Armin Wand at 402 Oak Street in the Village of Argyle, Lafayette County, for the purpose of collecting insurance proceeds. At the time the fire was set, Armin Wand's pregnant wife and children were sleeping in the home (Sharon Wand; Allen Wand (Age 7), Jeffrey Wand (Age 5), Joseph Wand (Age 3) and Jessica Wand (Age 2). At approximately 3:10 am, the Argyle-Adams Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at the residence and began efforts to save the occupants. Allen, Jeffrey and Joseph Wand were killed in the fire. Sharon Wand was injured attempting to save her children and remains hospitalized. Jessica Wand survived.
“The criminal charges arising out of this tragic fire will be addressed through the legal process that starts today with the filing of the criminal complaint,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “In the meantime, our thoughts should be with Sharon Wand, her two year-old daughter, and those mourning the deaths of her children.”
This matter was investigated by the Village of Argyle Police Department with assistance provided by the State Fire Marshal at the Department of Justice -- Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Lafayette County Sheriff's Department. Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte and Richard Dufour are acting as Special Prosecutor in the case.
A defendant enjoys the presumption of innocence. The charges found in the criminal complaint are merely allegations until and unless the prosecution proves its allegations at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
Copies of the criminal complaints are available at the following links: