DARLINGTON (WKOW) -- The Argyle man accused of setting fire to his home and killing his three sons and unborn baby has pleaded guilty.
Attorneys worked out a plea agreement convicting Armin Wand on four homicide charges.
In exchange for pleading guilty to three 1st degree intentional homicide charges and one attempted homicide charge, the court dropped two other attempted homicide charges and reduced another charge to felony murder.
Even with Friday's plea agreement attorneys say Wand is looking at three life sentences that could be served consecutively. That doesn't include the additional time he will serve after pleading guilty to arson and felony murder.
The two attempted homicide charges involving Wand's two-year-old daughter were dropped in the agreement. Authorities say she escaped the fire, but Wand put her back into the burning home. Somehow she was able to survive.
Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte says Wand's wife Sharon, who is currently filing a divorce from Wand, has accepted the court's agreement.
"Sharon is improving. It's been less than six months since this all happened," Korte says. "She was in a coma for two months. She's healing. She's, I'm sure happy to have her daughter and is mourning everyday for the loss of her sons and her unborn child."
Assistant Public Defender Guy Taylor says protecting his wife from having to testify was the main reason Wand decided to plead guilty.
"He wanted to spare his wife, he wanted to accept responsibility and he wanted to spare the trouble of trying him," Taylor explains.
Attorneys say Wand's guilty plea not only prevents the family from going through even more emotional anguish during a lengthy trial, but it also saves the state thousands upon thousands of dollars in court expenses. The complicated trial was expected to last seven to nine days.
"We were scheduled to go up to Wausau next week to pick a jury and then transport them back down here to Darlington, house them and feed them," Taylor says.
Attorneys wouldn't comment on how this guilty plea would affect the case involving Wand's brother Jeremy, who allegedly helped Wand set fire to his home. They did say that one stipulation in the agreement requires Armin Wand to testify during his brother's case.
Sentencing will be held on April 17. Attorneys say they're not sure what affect Friday's guilty plea will have on the judge's sentence. He may decide to show some leniency, but with four homicide charges and a handful of others, attorneys don't really expect it to make a difference.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Program Manager Jessica Miller at 608-661-2794. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.