ADVERTISEMENT

Wis. mom of 3 killed in fire recants statements

  • July 31, 2013 - 8:15 PM

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin woman whose three young sons were killed in a house fire last September wants to recant her statements that implicated her husband and brother-in-law in the fire.

Sharon Wand, 27, was badly burned in the fire at the family's Argyle home. She wrote to the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/140y9SZ ) in a letter received this week that her husband, Armin Wand, and his 19-year-old brother, Jeremy Wand, did not set the fire.

Sharon Wand wrote that her earlier statements to police that implicated the Wand brothers were made when she was not thinking clearly because of pain medication she was on while recovering from her injuries.

"I'm trying to do the right thing," she wrote. "You have two innocent people in custody. I know the truth about that night. I was there."

The criminal complaint accused the Wand brothers of setting fire to the house while Sharon Wand and her children were sleeping. The fire killed three of the couple's four children — Allen Wand, 7; Jeffery Wand, 5; and Joseph Wand, 3 — as well as the fetus Sharon Wand was carrying. The couple's 2-year-old daughter, Jessica, survived.

Armin Wand, 33, was given three consecutive life sentences in April after he agreed to plead guilty to charges that he wanted to kill his family and collect on their life insurance policies.

Jeremy Wand agreed to a similar plea deal as his brother and was supposed to be sentenced last month. But he asked a judge to withdraw his guilty pleas and allow his case to go to trial, partly because of Sharon Wand's changing stories about what happened the night of the fire, according to his attorney, Frank Medina.

Sharon Wand was charged in May with misdemeanor theft and criminal trespass after police said she stole from residents at a Dodgeville nursing home where she was recuperating from her injuries. She has since been taken back to a medical facility near Platteville where she is in protective custody, according to Armin Wand's sister, Tammy Wand.

Sharon Wand was not made available for an interview after a request was made to her legal guardian, the State Journal reported Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Justice declined to comment on the letter.

© 2014 Star Tribune