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Jaren Kuester changes plea to insanity in triple homicide

DARLINGTON, WI (WTAQ) - A Milwaukee man is now pleading insanity to charges that he killed three elderly residents in southwest Wisconsin in April.

31-year-old Jaren Kuester amended his previous not guilty pleas Monday to three counts of homicide, burglary, and vehicle theft. The change was no surprise, since his attorney mentioned the possibility earlier.

A 10-day trial is tentatively set to begin October 14th in Lafayette County. If he’s found insane, Kuester would go to a mental institution. If not, he could get life in prison.

His family has said that Kuester should have been sent to a mental hospital after he threatened animal shelter employees in Waukesha two days before the murders.

Authorities said he drove across southern Wisconsin after being told he could not see his pet dog, which actually died two weeks earlier.

Officials said Kuester broke into a farmhouse and killed Gary, Dean, and Chloe Thoreson with a fireplace poker after they arrived there.

Kuester then allegedly stole a victim’s pickup truck to see his dad in Waukesha, where he was arrested the next day.