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Jeremy Wand to enter plea deal today
DARLINGTON - A plea deal is expected this afternoon, Wednesday, June 12, in the case of 18-year-old Jeremy Wand.

Wand is charged with helping his brother set a house fire last September in Argyle that killed his three nephews and severely burned his sister-in-law.

Wand appeared in Lafayette County Circuit Court Wednesday morning for what was to be a motion hearing in preparation for his jury trial, scheduled for mid-July.

Instead, public defender Frank Medina said Wand was ready to plead guilty and enter a plea deal on the seven felony charges against him.

Judge Thomas Vale scheduled a plea hearing for 1:30 p.m. today, to give Wand time to think over his plea.

"I don't want you to feel coerced or rushed" into a plea, Vale told Wand.

Medina said afterward he expects Wand's eligibility date for parole will be under discussion at the hearing.

"What we're arguing about now is eligibility date for parole," Medina said.

A plea deal has been under consideration at least three months, he said.

"We're talking about life for an 18-year-old kid," he said. "At this time, (a plea deal) seems like a prudent way to go."

Wand, who has been jailed since September, would have graduated earlier this month with the Class of 2013 at Argyle High School. He appeared in court Wednesday morning in a black suit, with a white dress shirt underneath his bulletproof vest.

"He's got a story to tell," Medina said, adding that Wand would not have been able to tell his side of events at a trial. With the plea deal, Wand will have a chance at his sentencing to make a statement to the judge before the sentence is handed down.

His brother, 33-year-old Armin Wand III, also entered a plea deal. The elder Wand chose not to make a statement to the court before his sentencing in April.

It will be in Jeremy Wand's favor to make that statement, Medina said.