April 24, 2014

Teen gets life in prison in fatal arson case

Jeremy Wand

Jeremy Wand

A teenager from Argyle could spend the rest of his life in prison for helping to set a fire that killed his three nephews.

A Lafayette County judge on Thursday handed down three life sentences for 19-year-old Jeremy Wand, after the teen pleaded guilty earlier this year to multiple homicide and arson charges. Wand admitted to helping his older brother Armin Wand set a fire last September, which claimed the lives of Armin’s three sons, unborn child, and badly burned his wife.

The two brothers were accused of setting the fire as part of a plot to collect on life insurance policies. Prosecutors say Jeremy Wand was offered a $300 cut for helping.

The sentence was handed down just a few hours after the judge rejected Wand’s request to withdraw his guilty pleas. Wand had claimed he felt pressured to plead guilty to the charges, and that a letter allegedly sent to newspapers by Sharon Wand, in which she recanted her testimony, brought up doubts about his guilt. The judge pointed out that the confessions Wand and his brother allegedly made to police were far more important in the case, also noting that Wand denied he was coerced when he entered the plea in June.

Armin Wand is currently serving three life sentences. The judge did make Jeremy Wand eligible for parole in 35 years.