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Suspect in Lafayette County slayings is ex-con with martial-arts training

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UNDATED (WSAU)   The man suspected of killing three family members in southwest Wisconsin is a former Mixed Martial Arts athlete who was reportedly released from jail just last Friday. WKOW-TV in Madison said 31-year-old Jaren Kuester of Waukesha was jailed last Thursday, and was let go the next day after he paid a $243 fine to settle a nine-year-old case for resisting arrest.

Lafayette County authorities said 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his 66-year-old wife Cloe, and his 76-year-old brother Dean were all found dead Sunday morning at their home in the town of Wiota near Darlington. Kuester was arrested early yesterday at his apartment in Waukesha, where police found a pick-up truck owned by one of the victims. Kuester’s S-U-V was found on a rural property in Green County.

Laverne Gordee told WKOW that his wife found the suspect’s I-D bracelet from the Waukesha jail early Saturday, and he called 9-1-1. He said investigators found drugs in Kuester’s abandoned S-U-V. Kuester reportedly faces three possible charges of first-degree intentional homicide in what officials are calling a random crime. They said he did not know the victims.

Autopsies were conducted yesterday in Madison, as an investigation continues.

Kuester’s previous convictions include battery and disorderly conduct. WKOW said he competed under the name “The Hitman” in a Mixed Martial Arts event in West Bend in 2009.

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