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New judge named in Argyle triple fatal arson case

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Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

LAFAYETTE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A new judge has been named to hear the cases of two Argyle brothers charged with starting a house fire that killed three young relatives.

32-year-old Armin Wand III and 18-year-old Jeremy Wand asked for the new judge during a court appearance Tuesday in Lafayette County.

Later in the day, a regional court administrator appointed Judge Thomas Vale from neighboring Green County to hear the matter.

Both Wand brothers were ordered to stand trial after they waived their preliminary hearings. Judge Vale will now schedule an arraignment, where the defendants will enter pleas to numerous charges of homicide, attempted homicide, and arson.

Defense lawyers also asked Tuesday for a change of venue for the Wands’ trials, if they’re not canceled by plea bargains. They’ve asked that the trials either be moved out of the Madison TV market, or that a jury be brought in from outside the market.

One lawyer said the heavy publicity in the Madison area has tainted the jury pool of Lafayette County residents.

Armin Wand’s house was burned down in the September 7th blaze. Three of Armin’s children were killed, along with a unborn child carried by his wife. She was seriously injured, and the couple’s young daughter escaped the blaze unharmed. 

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