State Crime and Court Roundup: Father of three young boys killed in house fire under arrest
ARGYLE - The father of three young boys killed in a house fire in Argyle on Friday is under arrest for starting the blaze - and an uncle of the boys is also in custody.
The state Justice Department said yesterday that the father, 32-year-old Armin Wand III, and 18-year-old Jeremy Wand face possible charges of arson with intent to defraud. Both are in the Lafayette County Jail awaiting court action - and both are from Argyle, which is about 30 miles southwest of Madison. Dana Brueck of the Justice Department said what led to the arrests would not be disclosed until prosecutors file their case in court.
The blaze started just after three on Friday morning, and it killed brothers Allen Wand, age 7 - five-year-old Jeffrey, and three-year-old Joseph. Their 27-year-old mother Sharon was hospitalized in critical condition at last word at UW Hospital in Madison. Her sister, Amy Peterson, told WKOW-TV in Madison that Sharon is four months' pregnant. The mother also handed a two-year-old daughter to safety. The girl was treated-and-released from a hospital along with Armin Wand. Armin - one of the arson suspects - told WKOW on Saturday that he tried to fight the blaze, but he realized it was too big to handle by himself. He said his wife couldn't get to a phone to call 911, so he ran outside to get help. A resident who lives about 100 yards away told the Wisconsin State Journal he was awakened by the father's screams on Friday morning. The paper also said Armin was convicted in 2003 of violating a restraining order in a child abuse case - and he has a number of small claims and forfeitures against him. State and local authorities continue to investigate the blaze.
Oak Creek Police say they'll release a video this afternoon which could show how Sikh Temple gunman Wade Michael Page died. The video was made from a dashboard camera on an Oak Creek squad car - and number of news organizations have asked that the video be released. The F-B-I has said there's a video which showed officer Sam Lenda hitting the 40-year-old Page with a remarkable shot from 75-feet away. But police say they won't release especially graphic video, and it's not clear whether Lenda's gunshot will be among the material released today. The F-B-I said Page would have died from Lenda's gunshot, but he ended up killing himself with a final gunshot to the head. Six worshippers were killed and four people were wounded in the Sikh Temple shootings on August fifth.
Prosecutors could file charges today against a 20-year-old man suspected of killing the mother of his child. An autopsy revealed that 18-year-old Maisie McCullough of Marshfield had her neck slashed, and she was stabbed once in the back. McCullough was found dead late Friday night at the home she shared with the two-year-old boy and his father on Marshfield's east side. The man turned himself in Saturday, but police are not saying what evidence may have been found. Reports said the two parents had agreed recently to end their relationship - and McCullough was planning to move into her own home, and study for a nursing degree.