ARGYLE, Wis., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin man intent on killing his family lit their house ablaze and shoved his young daughter back inside as her mother tried to save her, police said.
The children's mother was critically injured but managed to save her 2-year-old daughter. The couple's three other children, boys ages 3, 5 and 7, all perished.
Armin G. Wand III, 32, the children's father, and Jeremy L. Wand, 18, their uncle, both of Argyle, Wis., were both charged with with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and one count of arson, the (Madison) Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Armin Wand faces a third count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide as party to a crime for for twice trying to kill his 2-year-old daughter.
Police said Armin Wand was desperate to escape marital and money problems and hatched the plan to kill his family in a fire while they slept and collect the insurance money. He enlisted his brother's help to carry out the plot and promised to pay him $300 from the insurance money, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Two of the three boys died in a bedroom the door to which Jeremy Wand had locked and a third child died while sleeping on a sofa Armin Wand set on fire, investigators said.
The mother, Sharon Wand, 27, who is pregnant, was hospitalized in critical condition.
Neighbors told the newspaper they saw Armin Wand incoherent and in an apparent state of shock immediately following the fire, which was reported shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday.
The Wand family rented the house in the small village Argyle, Wisc., 30 miles south of Madison.
"When we heard fraud or something like that, we thought, 'Well they don't even own the house. It just doesn't add up,'" neighbor Lee Zurfluh said.
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