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Jaren Kuester pleads guilty to triple homicide

DARLINGTON, WI (WTAQ) - A Waukesha man has pleaded guilty to killing three retired 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 31st 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.

He was found incompetent to stand trial in October, but defense lawyer Guy Taylor said Kuester got a lot better after his medication was adjusted.  

Authorities said 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.  

Officials said 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 pickup truck to his father's home in Waukesha.  

He was arrested there the day after the murders.  

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)