A Waukesha man has pleaded guilty to killing members of a rural southwest Wisconsin family.
31-year-old Jaren Kuester was convicted Wednesday, after Judge William Foust ruled that he was mentally competent to proceed. A hearing will be held January 31 to determine whether Kuester was insane when he killed Gary, Chloe, and Dean Thoreson in April at their family’s farmhouse near South Wayne in Lafayette County.
Keuster was found incompetent to stand trial in October, but defense lawyer Guy Taylor said his condition improved after his medication was adjusted.
Authorities say a series of incidents was triggered in late April, when Kuester went to a Waukesha animal shelter to see his pet, and he threatened employees who told him the pet died two weeks earlier. He later drove to Green County where he abandoned an SUV, ran through a wooded area, broke into the Thoreson house, killed the family members with a fireplace poker when they returned, and then drove a victim’s pick-up truck to his father’s home in Waukesha. He was arrested there the day after the murders.
Doug Wagen, WGLR