Aaron Schaffhausen Murdered Daughters Amara, Sophie & Cecil/Schaffhausen pleads guilty to murders, jury will decide if he was sane/Jury: Guilty BUT SANE of 3 counts 1st degree murder/7.16.13 Judge orders three life sentences to be served consecutively

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Normal Aaron Schaffhausen Murdered Daughters Amara, Sophie & Cecil/Schaffhausen pleads guilty to murders, jury will decide if he was sane/Jury: Guilty BUT SANE of 3 counts 1st degree murder/7.16.13 Judge orders three life sentences to be served consecutively

Post by raine1953 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:11 pm

MADISON, Wis. — A North Dakota man killed his three young daughters after they rushed to greet him during a surprise visit and left their bodies tucked in their beds, Wisconsin authorities said in court documents released Thursday.

St. Croix County prosecutors filed a criminal complaint charging Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Each count carries a mandatory life sentence.

Circuit Judge Howard W. Cameron set Schaffhausen's bail at $2 million Thursday and ordered him to have no contact with the girls' mother or her immediate family. Schaffhausen's attorney, listed in online court records as public defender John Kucinski, didn't immediately respond to a telephone message left at his office.

Autopsy results showed 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen, 8-year-old Sophie Schaffhausen and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen died from "sharp force injury" to the neck. Cecilia also had been strangled, according to the complaint.

The girl's mother, Jessica Schaffhausen, and Aaron Schaffhausen divorced this past January. He lived in Minot while the girls lived with their mother in River Falls, a city of 15,000 about 30 miles east of the Twin Cities, in a house she rented from her ex-husband, according to the complaint.

Investigators wrote in the complaint that Aaron Schaffhausen texted his ex-wife around noon Tuesday and asked for an unplanned visit with the girls. The mother thought he was supposed to be working a construction job in Minot but agreed, telling him to be gone by mid-afternoon because she didn't want to see him.

A Minneapolis Star Tribune report said Aaron Schaffhausen was fired from his job at a St. Paul construction firm on July 5 after he failed to show up for work. The firm had hired him to work on projects in western North Dakota, the newspaper reported. The firm's sales manager did not respond to an Associated Press email inquiry seeking details.

The girls' baby sitter told detectives the girls were so excited to see him when he arrived they rushed to him and took him upstairs to show him their things. The baby sitter followed them upstairs, hugged the girls goodbye and left, the complaint said.

About two hours later, Aaron Schaffhausen called his ex-wife.


"You can come home now because I killed the kids," Jessica Schaffhausen said he told her.

She immediately called police, who found no one home when they reached the house. They discovered the girls tucked into their beds, blankets up their necks. All three had what appeared to be dried blood on their faces and a large amount of blood covered the carpet in a bedroom.

Officers detected an odor they thought at first was natural gas. They later discovered a gasoline container had been tipped over in the basement, spilling its contents.

About an hour after he contacted his ex-wife, Aaron Schaffhausen drove into the River Falls Police Station parking lot and surrendered. Officers noted his shorts were stained with what appeared to be blood. Detectives tried to interview him, according to the complaint, but he said nothing.

The complaint did not say where Jessica Schaffhausen was on Tuesday.

Dawn Simonson, executive director of Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, a nonprofit organization in St. Paul that helps the elderly live independently, said during a brief telephone interview Thursday morning that Jessica Schaffhausen has worked there since 2009. Schaffhausen, she said, helps people return to their own homes after stints in nursing homes.

Simonson declined to comment further, saying she wanted to respect Schaffhausen's privacy. She didn't immediately return a telephone message later Thursday asking if Schaffhausen had been at work Tuesday.

"We're just so sad and so devastated by this loss," Simonson said Thursday morning.
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Amara, Cecilia, and Sophie Schaffhausen were found tucked in their beds, killed by "sharp force injuries" to the neck
Video at link


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Normal Dad accused of killing 3 daughters called mom and said, ‘You can come home now because I killed the kids,’ she says

Post by raine1953 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:08 pm

MADISON, Wis. – A North Dakota man killed his three young daughters after they rushed to greet him during a surprise visit and left their bodies tucked in their beds, Wisconsin authorities said in court documents released Thursday.
St. Croix County prosecutors filed a criminal complaint charging Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Each count carries a mandatory life sentence.
Circuit Judge Howard W. Cameron set Schaffhausen's bail at $2 million Thursday and ordered him to have no contact with the girls' mother or her immediate family. Schaffhausen's attorney, listed in online court records as public defender John Kucinski, didn't immediately respond to a telephone message left at his office.
Autopsy results showed 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen, 8-year-old Sophie Schaffhausen and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen died from "sharp force injury" to the neck. Cecilia also had been strangled, according to the complaint.
The girl's mother, Jessica Schaffhausen, and Aaron Schaffhausen divorced this past January. He lived in Minot while the girls lived with their mother in River Falls, a city of 15,000 about 30 miles east of the Twin Cities, in a house she rented from her ex-husband, according to the complaint.
Investigators wrote in the complaint that Aaron Schaffhausen texted his ex-wife around noon Tuesday and asked for an unplanned visit with the girls. The mother thought he was supposed to be working a construction job in Minot but agreed, telling him to be gone by mid-afternoon because she didn't want to see him.
A Minneapolis Star Tribune report said Aaron Schaffhausen was fired from his job at a St. Paul construction firm on July 5 after he failed to show up for work. The firm had hired him to work on projects in western North Dakota, the newspaper reported. The firm's sales manager did not respond to an Associated Press email inquiry seeking details.
The girls' baby sitter told detectives the girls were so excited to see him when he arrived they rushed to him and took him upstairs to show him their things. The baby sitter followed them upstairs, hugged the girls goodbye and left, the complaint said.
About two hours later, Aaron Schaffhausen called his ex-wife.
"You can come home now because I killed the kids," Jessica Schaffhausen said he told her.
She immediately called police, who found no one home when they reached the house. They discovered the girls tucked into their beds, blankets up their necks. All three had what appeared to be dried blood on their faces and a large amount of blood covered the carpet in a bedroom.
Officers detected an odor they thought at first was natural gas. They later discovered a gasoline container had been tipped over in the basement, spilling its contents.
About an hour after he contacted his ex-wife, Aaron Schaffhausen drove into the River Falls Police Station parking lot and surrendered. Officers noted his shorts were stained with what appeared to be blood. Detectives tried to interview him, according to the complaint, but he said nothing.
The complaint did not say where Jessica Schaffhausen was on Tuesday.
Dawn Simonson, executive director of Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, a nonprofit organization in St. Paul that helps the elderly live independently, said during a brief telephone interview Thursday morning that Jessica Schaffhausen has worked there since 2009. Schaffhausen, she said, helps people return to their own homes after stints in nursing homes.
Simonson declined to comment further, saying she wanted to respect Schaffhausen's privacy. She didn't immediately return a telephone message later Thursday asking if Schaffhausen had been at work Tuesday.
"We're just so sad and so devastated by this loss," Simonson said Thursday morning.
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Normal Aaron Schaffhausen Case: Wisconsin prosecutor charges ND man with 3 homicide counts in daughters' deaths

Post by raine1953 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:11 pm

(CBS/AP) RIVER FALLS, Wis. - Aaron Schaffhausen, a North Dakota man, was charged Thursday with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of his three young daughters, ages 5 to 11, in northwestern Wisconsin.

Pictures: 3 Wisconsin sisters dead; father arrested

Schaffhausen, 34, was already being held Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide, and was arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Officers discovered the bodies of 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen, 8-year-old Sophie Schaffhausen and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen on Tuesday after their mother called police, city administrator Scot Simpson said.

Police are still investigating exactly how the girls died and what might have led up to the killings.

"It's certainly the worst that we've seen," police Chief Roger Leque said of the crime.

Leque said during a news conference Wednesday that Aaron Schaffhausen lived in Minot, N.D. He contacted his ex-wife on Tuesday and asked for an unplanned visit with the girls.

Jessica Schaffhausen, who wasn't home, agreed. Her ex-husband arrived at the River Falls home the girls shared with their mother, and when he arrived, the girls' baby sitter left, Leque said.

Sometime later, Aaron Schaffhausen called his ex-wife and told her he had "harmed" the children, as Leque put it. She, in turn, called police while driving home.

Police arrived to find the gas fireplace on the home's first floor was turned on, Leque said. They smelled what Leque described as a flammable liquid in the basement, but the chief did not say what it was or how it got there. It's unclear what role, if any, the liquid may have played in the deaths - police are still waiting for the children's autopsy reports.

Schaffhausen turned himself in Tuesday afternoon after the girls' bodies were found.

Meanwhile, an announcement in The (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register shows Aaron Schaffhausen and Jessica Schaffhausen married in 2000. Court records show they divorced in January.

River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque has said records show what the chief called "an harassment incident" at the house in March 2012 in which the father threatened to harm at least one of the girls. But the chief said police were unaware of any restraining or protection orders.

The house stands in a newer subdivision on the east side of River Falls, a city of 15,000 people about 30 miles east of the Twin Cities.
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Normal Re: Aaron Schaffhausen Murdered Daughters Amara, Sophie & Cecil/Schaffhausen pleads guilty to murders, jury will decide if he was sane/Jury: Guilty BUT SANE of 3 counts 1st degree murder/7.16.13 Judge orders three life sentences to be served consecutively

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:15 pm

A former Springfield woman whose ex-husband has been charged with murdering their three young daughters in northwestern Wisconsin issued a statement to thank the public for its support.

“Our family deeply appreciates the outpouring of support and love shown to honor the girls’ memory,” Jessica Schaffhausen, a 1997 Glenwood High School graduate, said in a written statement the River Falls Police Department released Thursday afternoon.

“We understand the community’s desire to help and assist. At this time, the family has two approved avenues to offer your support. There is a memorial fund at First National Bank of River Falls, and the River Falls Wildcat Soccer team will be selling bracelets.”

Donations to the “Benefit Account for the Schaffhausen Children” can be mailed to First National Bank of River Falls, P.O. Box 166, River Falls, WI 54022, according to the bank’s website.

The family does not endorse the sale of any other merchandise or donations to any other memorial funds, Schaffhausen said.

“When the time is right, the family will use the generosity and support to honor and memorialize the girls in the best way possible,” she said. “Again, we thank you for your support, however we ask for privacy and respect at this time.”

The family is in the process of identifying someone to speak on its behalf, the statement said.

The girls’ grandparents, Phillip and Becky Stotz, still live in Springfield.
http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1655031751/Mother-of-murdered-girls-thanks-public-for-support
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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:21 am

Why in the world would he do this??? Child support? This is Horrible!!!

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Post by lisette on Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:21 am

I think it was to "get back at" the mother for something, probably for divorcing him...And he was probably annoyed that he was going to have to pay child support without being able to live with them...IDK, just seems like that could be the reason?
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Normal Parents killing their children is a relatively common crime

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:17 pm

MINNEAPOLIS — How could any parent kill his own children?

That’s been a typical reaction to the news that Aaron Schaffhausen was accused of slashing the throats of his three young daughters last week in River Falls, Wis.

But the phenomenon, called filicide, is more common than most people might want to believe, and not all parents who do it are mentally unhinged, according to one of the country’s foremost experts.

“The general lay-public response is they must be crazy, but that’s not always the case,” said Dr. Phillip Resnick, a professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Only some are psychotic, he said, meaning they have no command of what is real.

Resnick, who has for 40 years evaluated parents accused of killing their children, conducted a seminal study on filicide in which he identified five types of the crime.

One type — revenge against a spouse — may best fit the scenario authorities laid out in the charges against Schaffhausen, 34, who was divorced from the girls’ mother in January.

But all the types are represented in high-profile cases from across the country in the past decade or so.

Resnick said one out of every 33 homicides in the United States is the killing of a child under 18 by a parent, or 250 to 300 of the country’s killings each year. In a 2005 study, he found filicide to be the third-leading cause of death of American children ages 5 to 14.

After spouses killing spouses, parents killing children is the most common variety of family homicide, according to a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics study of homicides from 1976 to 2005.

The charges against Schaffhausen allege that he killed his daughters Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Celia, 5, on Tuesday during an unscheduled visit to the River Falls home where they lived with their mother, Jessica. She told police he called her that afternoon and said: “You can come home now because I killed the kids.”

While that scenario — especially the chilling phone call — suggests that Schaffhausen may have killed his daughters to hurt his ex-wife, other factors Resnick found in most revenge-type filicide cases have yet to be demonstrated as part of this case.

“Usually there’s been either a child custody battle or infidelity, and there’s so much anger by the one spouse that they use the children to get back at the other,” Resnick said.

According to the couple’s Jan. 9 divorce decree, Aaron Schaffhausen agreed to give his ex-wife primary physical custody of the children, and he was to have them for most of their summer breaks and on various holidays each year. They had joint legal custody, with shared responsibility for major decisions.

He agreed to take sole charge of their debts of $196,500 and pay $1,353 child support out of the $4,666 in gross income he earned monthly as a carpenter, most recently in the oil fields of western North Dakota.

There’s no evidence in the decree that the couple fought over custody or other issues. In fact, neither had an attorney.

Read more here http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/midwest/view/20120716parents_killing_their_children_is_a_relatively_common_crime/srvc=home&position=recent
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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:24 pm

But the phenomenon, called filicide, is more common than most people might want to believe, and not all parents who do it are mentally unhinged, according to one of the country’s foremost experts.

“The general lay-public response is they must be crazy, but that’s not always the case,” said Dr. Phillip Resnick, a professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Only some are psychotic, he said, meaning they have no command of what is real.
It sure is and as this states, a parent doesn't have to have a screw loose. Bozo's "theory" is BS at its finest.

He agreed to take sole charge of their debts of $196,500 and pay $1,353 child support out of the $4,666 in gross income he earned monthly as a carpenter, most recently in the oil fields of western North Dakota.
That is a lot of debt. Speaks Volumes and Very sad!! angry

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Normal Memorial service Tuesday for Schaffhausen sisters murdered last week

Post by raine1953 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:35 am

RIVER FALLS, WI (WTAQ) - People in River Falls will pay their last respects Tuesday to three young sisters found dead in their home a week ago.

A memorial service will be held this evening for 5-year-old Cecilia, 8-year-old Sophie, and 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen. It will take place at the Kilkarney Hills Golf Club in River Falls, after three hours of visitations.

Prosecutors said the girls’ father, 34-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen, cut his daughter’s throats after he got permission from his ex-wife to see the youngsters privately. He’s charged with 3 counts of homicide, and is due back in court a week from Tuesday.

The family issued a statement Monday thanking various local government agencies for their support. They also thanked their church, and the many people who’ve donated thousands of dollars to a memorial fund.

The family’s statement read in part, “We are deeply moved by the outpouring of love, concern, and care expressed by everyone we have encountered during this difficult time – and it has helped us immensely to know that this community is supporting us.”
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Normal Schaffhausen charged in murder of daughters

Post by raine1953 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:08 pm

Court sets $2 million cash bond, prelim is July 24

A man charged with murder in the deaths of his three young daughters in a gruesome incident at a River Falls residence July 10 made an initial appearance in St. Croix County Circuit Court late last week.

Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, Minot, N.D., is charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in deaths of Amara 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5.

An autopsy report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office said Amara and Sophie died from sharp force injuries to the right side of their necks. Cecilia died from a sharp force injury to the neck and strangulation.

“They’re throats were slit,” said District Attorney Eric Johnson in a press conference following the July 12 proceedings. “We believed the murder weapon was a knife.”

Johnson asked for $2 million cash bail. He said it was the largest amount he had ever requested. “I have been a prosecutor for 30 years and this is the worst case I’ve seen,” Johnson said.

The court record shows Schaffhausen refused to sign the bond.

Schaffhausen did not enter the courtroom. He made a video appearance from the jail. He was represented by public defender John Kucinski who didn’t protest the amount. He reserved the right to request a bond hearing for his client later and asked for a preliminary hearing July 24.

Judge Howard W. Cameron set bond and scheduled the hearing for two hours at 10 a.m. July 24. Schaffhausen has been held in the St. Croix County Jail since his arrest July 10.

The sheriff’s department said Schaffhausen is under suicide watch and in solitary confinement.

Johnson said his office was done with evidentiary proceedings and was ready to release the bodies of the three girls. Kucinski said he had just received the criminal complaint and there were, “too many evidentiary issues,” and he couldn’t agree to the release of the bodies.

The sheriff's office said as of Tuesday afternoon they had not been release. A memorial service for the Schaffhausen family was scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at Kilkarney Hills Golf Club.

At 3:45 p.m. July 10, River Falls Police were called to 2790 Morningside Ave., on the northeast edge of the city after Jessica Schaffhausen contacted the department and said her ex-husband, the father of her three children, telephoned her he “killed the kids,” the criminal complaint said.

Police found the three children, each in their own bed with blankets covering their bodies and neck lines. An investigator smelled raw gasoline in the basement flowing from a tipped over container.

Jessica received a text message from Aaron at 11:45 a.m., whom she thought was working construction in Minot, N.D. He said he was in St. Paul and wanted to spend time with the girls. She agreed but said he must leave by 3:30 p.m. because she didn’t want to see him.

A babysitter with the girls said Aaron arrived about 1:25 p.m. She said goodbye to them at 2:40 p.m., according to the complaint.

Police said Schaffhausen drove to the department and turned himself in but remained silent.

He said little during the initial hearing except when prompted by the judge to respond. Kucinski spoke for his client in most instances.

Kucinski filed a right to remain silent with the court on behalf of his client July 13 whereby Schaffhausen invokes his 5th and 6th Amendment Rights to remain silent regarding all enforcement officers and their agents.

Kucinski became the attorney of record Schaffhausen Monday according to a public defender order appointing counsel.

The Wisconsin Attorney General's office will prosecute the case by invitation of the district attorney, said Dana Brueck, a spokesperson for the AG’s office in Madison.

RFPD asked for the public's assistance in a search for a laptop computer and computer bag believed to be Schaffhausen’s and possibly ditched along the road before he turned himself in. The items include a Sony VAIO laptop and a Targus laptop bag. Police believe Schaffhausen was driving a metallic blue 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.

St. Croix County Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said six members of his department and investigators from Pierce County were assisting RFPD police in the case. “It’s a multi-jurisdictional effort that is working well,” he said.
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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:34 pm

Attorney: Schaffhausen, accused of killing girls, is delusional

By Associated Press
Crookston Daily Times
Posted Jul 26, 2012 @ 11:54 AM

Hudson, Wis. —
The attorney for a North Dakota man charged with killing his three young daughters in Wisconsin says the defense will provide evidence that shows the defendant was delusional and depressed before the girls were slain.

Defense lawyer John Kucinski (kuh-SIN'-skee) says Aaron Schaffhausen had been depressed for quite a while and was taking medication. Kucinski tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram there were people who were concerned about his abnormal behavior, including his ex-wife who told relatives Schaffhausen had serious problems.

The Minot, N.D., construction worker, who turns 35 Wednesday, is being held in the St. Croix (kroy) County Jail on $2 million cash bond. A judge on Tuesday ruled there's enough evidence to hold Schaffhausen for trial.

Eleven-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen were found slain in their River Falls home July 10.

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Yet Another one that w/try the insanity defense. BS my 2 cents

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:37 pm

Schaffhausen bound over in homicide case

A man accused in the murder of his three young daughters was bound over for trial in St. Croix County Circuit Court Tuesday morning. Judge Scott Needham found probable cause that Aaron Schaffhausen committed a felony and set an arraignment hearing for Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. when he will enter a plea.

By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer

A man accused in the murder of his three young daughters was bound over for trial in St. Croix County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

Judge Scott Needham found probable cause that Aaron Schaffhausen committed a felony and set an arraignment hearing for Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. when he will enter a plea.

Schaffhausen, 35, is charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the July 10 deaths of daughters Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecelia, 5, at their River Falls residence. He appeared in an orange jail suit in handcuffs and showed no emotion through the hour and one half hearing.

Gary Freyberg of the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office and Assistant District Attorney Amber Hahn prosecuted the case. The team called three witnesses.

Fallon Moore, a UW-RF student who served as a babysitter for Aaron and Jessica Schaffhausen for five years and who was taking care of the children on July 10, took the stand first.

She testified that she received a call from Jessica who said Aaron wanted to visit with the children. He arrived about 1:30 p.m. “The girls were happy to see their father,” she said. “They greeted him at the front door.”

When asked about Aaron’s demeanor at the time, Moore said he was, “slightly gruff but not impolite,” which was normal for him.

She said the girls went upstairs with their father and Moore left the house.

Ailene Splittgerber, a six-year employee with the River Falls Police Department, took the stand next.

She testified she was working her eight-hour shift that included handling no emergency calls when she took a call from the Ramsey County, Minn., dispatch at about 3:30 p.m.

She said the call was from Jessica who was hysterical and crying. “She wanted officers to go to her residence at 2790 Morningside Ave. and check on her children. She said her ex-husband called her and said he had killed the children,” Splittgerber said.

She said calls to her desk aren’t normally recorded but after “less than a minute” of conversation, she started recording it. She kept talking to Jessica for an estimated 40 minutes.

The prosecution’s third witness was investigator John Wilson of River Falls Police Department. He testified he was dispatched to the Schaffhausen home and arrived about 4 p.m.

Wilson said he went upstairs and found a young child in the first bedroom he came to, “lifeless with a blanket pulled up to her neck, blood on her face and her eyes open.”

He testified to finding the two other children in similar condition in separate upstairs bedrooms and a large pool of blood and blood spatters in one of the rooms.

Wilson said he observed the autopsies on the three girls at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office in St. Paul. He said two of the girls had, “large gaping wounds across their necks,” and one child had “two gaping wounds across her neck.”

A specific murder weapon has not been identified, but the prosecution believed it was a knife in earlier statements.

Wilson said he was later informed that Aaron turned himself in to the department and had what appeared to be blood on a right pocket of his cargo shorts. He “did not say a word” during an interview,” the investigator said.

Public defender John Kucinski represented Schaffhausen along with public defender Alex Andrea from the Hudson office. Kucinski did not call any witnesses.

The court room was well represented by members of the Twin Cities and surrounding media. Kucinski had filed a motion to exclude media, in the form of cameras, from the courtroom. Judge Needham partially denied it but allowed only one TV camera in the courtroom and other television outlets had to take a feed off it.

“With cameras and TV, people testify differently,” Kucinski argued in defense of his client.

Judge Scott Needham presided over the hearing in place of Judge Howard Cameron who was on vacation. Cameron heard Schaffhausen’s initial appearance July 12 and will resume the case at the arraignment Aug. 28. Schaffhausen has been held in the St. Croix County Jail on $2 million cash bail since his arrest.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:22 am


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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:05 pm


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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:39 am

River Falls killings: Dad charged with attempted arson
By Andy Rathbun

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Posted: 08/21/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT
Updated: 08/21/2012 07:59:29 PM CDT

A new charge has been filed against Aaron Schaffhausen, the man suspected of killing his three girls last month in River Falls, Wis.

Prosecutors on Monday, Aug. 20, added attempted arson of a building to the three counts of first-degree intentional homicide already filed against Schaffhausen, 35. If convicted of the arson charge, Schaffhausen faces a sentence of up to 20 years. He faces a sentence of life in prison if convicted of any of the homicide charges.

His three daughters -- Amara, 11, Sophie, 9, and Cecilia, 5 -- were killed July 10 in the home they shared with their mother, Schaffhausen's ex-wife, who was away when Schaffhausen came to the home for an arranged visit that day, the criminal complaint states.

An investigator smelled the odor of gasoline in the basement of the home and found a gas container that had been tipped over, allowing gas to pour out of it, according to the complaint.

An arraignment hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 28.

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Normal Song and dance benefit held for Jessica Schaffhausen

Post by raine1953 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:26 am

River Falls (WQOW) - An American Idol contestant teams up with a local dance company for a benefit for an area family dealing with tragedy. Last month, Amara, Sophie, and Cecilia Schaffhausen were murdered. Their father, Aaron Schaffhausen, was charged with their deaths.

A benefit was held in River Falls for the girls mother Jessica Schaffhausen. Volunteers from local dance studios and an American Idol took to the stage to raise money.

"They love the idea of being able to help someone out they don't even know," said event coordinator Laura Decheine.

Members of the Helmer Dance Studio in Hudson helped the River Falls community move forward by giving back Saturday. Their song and dance display was part of a benefit for Jessica Schaffhausen, whose three children were murdered in July.

"When I first heard about this, I was stunned and horrified like everyone else was. But I also thought to myself, "What can I do?" besides give money, which is something everyone can do. I want to do something on a grander scale, and all I do is teach dance, I'm just a dance teacher. But then I thought "You know, I put on shows for a living, and I could put on a show,"

So she did, and she wasn't alone in bringing the community together; another dance studio, Stella Dance Studio, also signed on in support.

"The kids are so excited, and they work on these numbers all year long to compete. But they do that for trophies and things like that. I'd like to teach them that you can use your talent and your skills to help somebody," Decheine said.

The benefit got a boost from a national artist as well, in American Idol contestant and Ellsworth resident Reed Grimm.

"When I heard that there was an event supporting the mother Jessica, I was like "You know, if there's anything I can do," and my mom got invited, and then they invited me to come perform, and just try to bring some joy and some positive energy to the area. And so that's why I'm here," said Grimm.

"It's tough to see something like this and then turn around, spin it. But that's what we're doing, and seeing all these girls here ready to dance, it just makes me more joyful too."

$2,500 was raised Saturday. All of the proceeds are going to Jessica Schaffhausen. The Helmer Dance Studio will also be selling DVD's of Saturday's performance for the Schaffhausen family at a suggested donation price of $10.

To get a copy, you can call the dance studio at 377-9862, or you can email them at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Aaron Schaffhausen, who is charged with three counts of murder in the girls' deaths, will be in court on Tuesday. He is expected to plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
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Normal Insanity plea expected from man accused of murdering three daughters

Post by raine1953 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:02 am

RIVER FALLS, Wis (WSAU) Prosecutors expect Aaron Schaffhausen to plead insanity to charges that he murdered his three daughters, and tried to burn down the house in River Falls where they and his ex-wife lived. The 35-year-old Schaffhausen is scheduled to enter his pleas next Tuesday. And assistant state attorney general Gary Freyberg said in a court filing that he expects a plea of innocent by reason of mental disease.

Schaffhausen is charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide, and a new charge of attempted arson was filed this week. His attorney, John Kucinski, said last month that Schaffhausen was depressed and delusional for a long time before the slayings on July 10th. The attorney refused comment yesterday.

Schaffhausen divorced his ex-wife in January, and he became a construction worker in Minot North Dakota. Authorities have not given a motive for the slayings – which occurred after Schaffhausen’s ex-wife gave him permission to see his three daughters alone.
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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:45 am

Benefit held for mother of girls murdered in River Falls

Posted: Aug 25, 2012 5:22 PM CDT
Updated: Aug 26, 2012 9:25 AM CDT
by Jody Ambroz - bio | email

More than a month after the Schaffhausen girls were murdered inside their own home, the community of River Falls, Wisconsin continues to mourn.

On Saturday, dozens of performers, including a former American Idol contestant came together to try and lift spirits. Former Idol star Reed Grimm, of nearby Ellsworth, Wisconsin headlined the benefit for the Schaffhausen family. Grimm said, "I can only hope that the family feels love, feels connected."

Prosecutors accused Aaron Schaffhausen of murdering his three daughters back in July. 11 year-old Amara, 8 year-old Sophie, and 5 year-old Cecelia died inside their own home in River Falls. Since then, the community has rallied around the girls' mother, Jessica Schaffhausen.

Benefit Organizer Laura Decheine decided she wanted to put on a show. Decheine organized her dance students to perform at the fundraiser. "I have three children myself. I feel I know her and have a connection to her just by being a mom," said Decheine.

Decheine said one hundred per cent of the proceeds will go to Jessica Schaffhausen. A memorial fund has also been set up at First National Bank of River Falls.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:52 am

Wisconsin prosecutors expect not guilty plea from man accused of killing three daughters

Prosecutors in Wisconsin anticipate a North Dakota man accused of killing his three daughters will plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

By: Associated Press report, Associated Press

The Duluth News Tribune

Schaffhausen was charged Thursday with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the deaths of his three daughters.
MADISON — Prosecutors in Wisconsin anticipate a North Dakota man accused of killing his three daughters will plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Aaron Schaffhausen faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted arson in the deaths of his daughters, 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia. Police found the girls dead in their River Falls home last month.

Assistant Attorney General Gary Freyberg wrote in court filings that he believes Schaffhausen will enter a not guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect when he's arraigned next week.

Schaffhausen's attorney, John Kucinski, told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram newspaper several weeks ago that he plans to show Schaffhausen was delusional and depressed before the slayings. He declined to comment when reached by telephone Thursday.

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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:23 pm

Schaffhausen Expected To Enter Plea On Tuesday

August 27, 2012 6:21 AM
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A man who is accused of killing his three daughters at their River Falls, Wis., home last month is scheduled to appear in St. Croix County Court on Tuesday.

Aaron Schaffhausen is expected to enter a plea in the stabbing deaths of Amara, Sophie and Cecilia Schafhausen. He is facing three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with their deaths.

The incident came about six months after he and his wife divorced. Schaffhausen had been doing construction work in North Dakota. He was in court more than a month ago when a judge decided there was enough evidence to have the case move forward.

Last week, prosecutors charged Schaffhausen with attempted arson. According to a criminal complaint, authorities said when they arrived to the house to check on the kids, they could smell gas coming from the basement where there was a tipped over gas can.

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Normal ND man accused of killing kids pleads not guilty

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:15 pm

Updated 4:01 p.m., Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge entered not guilty pleas Tuesday for a man accused of killing his three young daughters.

North Dakota construction worker Aaron Schaffhausen faces three homicide counts and an arson charge in the deaths of 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen.

Online court records show Aaron Schaffhausen's attorney, public defender John Kucinski, stood mute during an arraignment in St. Croix County Circuit Court Tuesday. Judge Howard C. Cameron entered not guilty pleas for Schaffhausen on all the charges.

Police discovered the girls' bodies in the River Falls home they shared with their mother last month. They also found an overturned gasoline can in the basement. Schaffhausen and the girls' mother divorced in January.

The state Justice Department is handling Schaffhausen's prosecution. Agency attorneys wrote in court filings last week they expected Schaffhausen to plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

DOJ spokeswoman Dana Brueck declined to comment on the arraignment. An attempt to reach Kucinski at the state public defender's office late Tuesday afternoon was greeted with a recording saying the office had closed and callers could not leave messages.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:00 am

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Normal Warning! Graphic Content ~ Criminal Complaint

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:04 am

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:54 pm

Published September 18, 2012, 08:05 AM

Defense attorney, judge and prosecutor in triple murder are former co-workers

Defense attorney John Kucinski doesn't believe the professional connections among himself, the special prosecutor and the judge in the triple-murder case in St. Croix County will have any bearing on the case.

By: By Chuck Rupnow, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram

HUDSON -- Defense attorney John Kucinski doesn't believe the professional connections among himself, the special prosecutor and the judge in the triple-murder case in St. Croix County will have any bearing on the case.

Kucinski represents Aaron Schaffhausen, who is accused of three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the murders of his daughters, Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5.

Kucinski works for the state Public Defender's Office in Hudson, and at one point worked in that office with Gary Freyberg and Howard Cameron.

Freyberg, now an assistant attorney general, is serving as special prosecutor in the case, while Cameron is the judge handling the case.

Freyberg worked in the public defender's office from Nov. 12, 1984, to Aug. 11, 2001. Kucinski started there Sept. 21, 1981, and Cameron worked in the office from Nov. 13, 1991, to July 31, 2008, according to the state Public Defender's Office in Madison.

During one court hearing, Cameron mentioned that the three knew each other. He and Freyberg both declined to comment for this article.

"It makes no difference at all," Kucinski said Monday. "It makes things somewhat easier, since we know each other."

Kucinski called it "interesting" -- especially since Freyberg now works out of Madison -- that the three would be working in these particular capacities for this high profile case.

"I have no concerns," he said. "I don't anticipate any issues."

Schaffhausen, 35, who was living in Minot, N.D., is accused of killing his three daughters July 10 at the River Falls residence his ex-wife was renting from him.

Schaffhausen reportedly called his ex-wife, saying she could return home and that he had killed the girls. Police found the dead, each with stab wounds. Schaffhausen turned himself in to police about two hours later.

Schaffhausen is also charged with attempted arson for reportedly trying to set the house on fire.

A motions hearing in the case is scheduled Sept. 20.

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Normal Lawyer wants therapists to stay away from slaying suspect.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:29 pm

The lawyer for a man accused of killing his three daughters in River Falls, Wis., is asking a higher court to prevent jail mental health workers from approaching the man in his cell.

Repeated visits from a worker violate Aaron Schaffhausen's constitutional rights, his defense attorney argued in appeal papers this week.

Jail deputies are already documenting everything about Schaffhausen -- including when he eats, sleeps and uses the bathroom -- in case it's needed in the criminal case against him, defense attorney John Kucinski argued in the appeal. If Schaffhausen ever speaks to a mental health worker, Kucinski questioned whether that information would remain medically confidential if the case ends up focusing on Schaffhausen's mental status.

Schaffhausen was considered a suicide risk when he entered the St. Croix County jail in July, court papers said. A judge agreed last month that a mental health worker could continue to approach Schaffhausen in a limited way as part of the sheriff's duty to provide health care to jail inmates; if Schaffhausen doesn't respond the worker is to leave.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:43 pm

HUDSON — A judge has ruled attorneys for a man accused of killing his three young daughters in Wisconsin will get copies of sensitive evidence.

Judge Howard Cameron ruled Thursday at a motion hearing for North Dakota construction worker Aaron Schaffhausen in St. Croix County. Prosecutors did not want to provide Schaffhausen's attorneys with copies of the materials — including crime scene photos — for fear the evidence would be made public.

Prosecutor Gary Freyberg says some of the evidence is "extremely graphic."

The judge ruled the defense would get copies of the evidence, but the materials cannot be disseminated or given to Schaffhausen.

Schaffhausen is accused of killing 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophia and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen at their River Falls home in July.

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Normal Jury trial for Aaron Schaffhausen case set for April

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:50 am

By Andy Rathbun
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Posted: 10/18/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT
Updated: 10/18/2012 07:13:12 PM CDT

A jury trial for Aaron Schaffhausen, the man accused of killing his three daughters in River Falls, Wis., has been scheduled for April.

Schaffhausen stood mute at a hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court in August, effectively pleading not guilty to three charges of first-degree intentional homicide and one charge of attempted arson.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, a trial in the case was scheduled for April 1-24, 2013.

Schaffhausen is currently in the St. Croix County Jail.

He is accused of killing Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5, on July 10. Schaffhausen is divorced from the girls' mother and was visiting their home the day of the killings.

Andy Rathbun can be reached at 651-228-2121. Follow him at twitter.com/andyrathbun.

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Normal A four-week trial has been scheduled for next April in the case of Aaron Schaffhausen

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:44 pm

Published October 19, 2012, 09:23 AM

A four-week trial has been scheduled for next April in the case of Aaron Schaffhausen. He’s the man accused of stabbing and slashing his three young daughters in River Falls on July 10th, and plotting to burn down the home where the girls and their mother live. The case is proceeding in Saint Croix County Circuit Court, while Schaffhausen tries to get an appeals court to stop a sheriff’s mental health expert from visiting his jail cell three days a week. His lawyers say the sheriff is trying to bait Schaffhausen into telling the counselor something that can be used against him in his trial. That trial is due to begin April first, with four other hearings beginning on November 21st. The 35-year-old Schaffhausen is accused of killing Cecilia, Sophie, and Arama Schaffhausen, ages 5-to-11. He and his ex-wife were divorced in January, and the mother allowed her ex-husband to see the youngsters alone on the day of the murders. He’s charged with three counts of homicide and one count of attempted arson.

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Normal Judge sets 3-week trial in daughters’ deaths

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:35 am

POSTED: Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 10:20 am
BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin judge has set a three-week trial this spring for a North Dakota man accused of killing his three young daughters in River Falls.

St. Croix County Circuit Judge Howard W. Cameron scheduled Aaron Schaffhausen’s to begin on April 1 and run through April 24.

Police discovered the bodies of 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophia and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen in the River Falls home they shared with their mother in July. They also found an overturned gasoline can in the basement.

Schaffhausen has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted arson.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:25 pm

Published November 16, 2012, 05:31 PM

Officers say: Watch for Schaffhausen laptop, cell phone

Law enforcement officials investigating the Schaffhausen murder case ask for the public’s help to find a laptop with a bag and cell phone belonging to Aaron Schaffhausen, who’s accused of murdering his three young daughters in River Falls July 10.

Police believe these items may have been ditched somewhere before Schaffhausen turned himself in. The items are a Sony VAIO laptop with a Targus laptop bag, as well as a cell phone.

Schaffhausen’s trial is set to begin April 1 and is anticipated to last four weeks.

Lt. Cathy Borgschatz of the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department said late Nov. 16 that since it is the opening weekend for hunting deer with a gun, there will be a lot of people “out in nature” who could help watch for the important evidence.

Anyone with information about the missing laptop, bag or cell phone should call Sgt. Jon Aubart with the River Falls Police Department at 715-425-0909 or the non-emergency dispatch number for either county.

Pierce County: 715-273-5051

St. Croix County: 715-386-4701.

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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:41 pm

River Falls, Wis.: House where 3 girls were killed is pulled from real estate listings
By Andy Rathbun
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Posted: 11/19/2012 12:01:00 AM CST
Updated: 11/19/2012 05:59:06 PM CST

A woman neighbor walked children across a field in front of a house where three girls died. Three sisters are dead in this house at 2790 Morningside Ave., River Falls. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

A real estate listing for the house where Aaron Schaffhausen allegedly killed his three daughters has been removed after it was learned Schaffhausen could profit from the sale.

The River Falls house where Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5, were killed July 10 was listed by Edina Realty until the agency canceled the listing Friday, Nov. 16.

The cancellation followed a complaint by the girls' mother, Jessica Schaffhausen, who contacted the agency last week and told them her ex-husband stood to make money from the sale, said Maria Verven, a public relations consultant for the agency.

"After some further investigation we found out that Mr. Schaffhausen could potentially profit from the sale, and after receiving a request

Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, was booked into jail on July 10, 2012, on probable cause for three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of his three daughters. (Courtesy to Pioneer Press: St. Croix County jail)
from Jessica Schaffhausen, we've chosen to cancel the listing," Verven said.

Edina Realty listed the home, which Schaffhausen owns, after his mother contacted one of its agents, said Verven, who added that the agent did not know at the time Schaffhausen could profit from the sale.

The four-bedroom, 2,320 square-foot home was listed at one point at $229,900. The description of the home read: "Kitchen bar open to family room to enjoy the cozy fireplace. Sliding glass door open to the deck facing south. Great location on the edge of the city and overlooks the country side."

Schaffhausen is accused of killing his three daughters, who lived in the home with their mother. Investigators found the girls tucked into beds in separate bedrooms and a large amount of blood in one of the bedrooms, according to the criminal complaint.

Schaffhausen was living in Minot, N.D., at the time and was visiting the girls while Jessica Schaffhausen was away. He allegedly called Jessica Schaffhausen after the killings and told her that he killed the girls, according to the complaint.

Schaffhausen is in the St. Croix County Jail. He stood mute at an arraignment hearing in August, effectively pleading not guilty to three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted arson.

His trial is scheduled for April.

On Thursday, Jessica Schaffhausen posted to Facebook the email she reportedly sent to the Edina Realty agent who took the listing. In it, she claimed that the sale of the home could also affect his court case.

"What you may not have thought through in accepting this job is that if you do succeed in selling it that you will allow their murderer to not only benefit financially but will also disqualify him for the public defender he is using which would mean that the entire criminal trial process would be set back drastically,"
she wrote.

A call to Schaffhausen's public defender was not immediately returned.

The next court hearing in his case is scheduled for Wednesday.

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Normal Schaffhausen pretrial hearing held

Post by raine1953 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:10 pm

HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- A man charged with murdering his daughters in River Falls last July has a few weeks to consider whether he will plead insanity.

At a pretrial hearing Wednesday, a judge told Aaron Schaffhausen's attorney he has until Dec. 14 to file a motion to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. The Star Tribune reports St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Howard Cameron also gave the defense until Dec. 28 to request a change of venue.

Schaffhausen faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths of 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia. All three girls were found tucked into their beds with their throats slit.

Schaffhausen faces mandatory life in prison if convicted. The judge could grant him a chance at parole, however.
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Normal Prosecutors say Schaffhausen's motive was to hurt ex-wife

Post by raine1953 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:12 pm

HUDSON - Prosecutors say Aaron Schaffhausen killed his three daughters in order to hurt his ex-wife. The revelation at a court hearing yesterday is the first time a motive has been suggested for the July triple-murder in River Falls.

Eleven year old Amara, eight year old Sophie and five year old Cecilia Schaffhausen were all found tucked into their beds with their throats slit. If convicted, Schaffhausen would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

At yesterday’s hearing, the judge told Schaffhausen’s attorney he has until December 14th to file a motion to plea not guilty by reason of insanity and until December 28th to file a request for a change of venue.
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Normal Judge will decide if cameras will be allowed during Schaffhausen murder trial

Post by raine1953 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:19 pm

The father accused of killing his three young daughters in their River Falls home sat stone-faced and perfectly still at a two-hour hearing in St. Croix County Court on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Judge Howard Cameron heard a variety of motions filed by both the prosecution and the defense in the triple homicide and arson case against Schaffhausen.

Schaffhausen, 35, is charged with three counts of first degree homicide and one count of attempted arson in the deaths of girls in the home they shared with their mother on July 10.

Public defender John Kucinski asked Cameron to ban cameras and recording devices from all court proceedings. Currently one video camera and still photography without flash are allowed.

Kucinski pointed to the media coverage surrounding the Casey Anthony murder trial in Florida. He said the publicity surrounding the trial had an adverse effect on everyone associated with the case including the judge, the lawyers and the jurors.

He pointed specifically to an early television report by KARE 11 that erroneously reported that Schaffhausen had pleaded guilty to the murders. Even though it was not true, “it was already out there in front of everybody,” Kucinski said.

State prosecutor Gary Freyberg said he did not object to Kucinski’s request in an effort to protect the victims and the defendant’s right to a fair trial.

Cameron said he would review the request and rule on it by next week. He said he wanted to allow sufficient time for media outlets to file their objections so as not to delay the start of the trial April 1.

Cameron ruled that the defense must advise the court by Dec. 14 if they intend to use “not guilty by reason of insanity” as a defense for Schaffhausen.

Cameron dismissed defense motions to drop the arson charge from the case and to keep 911 calls related to the case from being heard in court. Cameron said he will review videotapes of the Schaffhausen’s arrest and booking, specifically at any statements made by the defendant during the process and will make his decision on whether they can be admitted as evidence by Dec. 3.

Issues surrounding jury selection, jury sequestration and a possible change of venue for the trial will be heard by Cameron at a hearing on Jan. 17.

Family members of the victims were escorted into and from the hearing by representatives of the court’s Victim/Witness office.

Schaffhausen is being held in St. Croix County Jail on a $2 million cash bond. His daughters, Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5, were found dead in their upstairs bedrooms from stab wounds. The youngest was also strangled according to the complaint. Schaffhausen is divorced from the girls’ mother, Jessica, and was on an unannounced visit their home the day of the killings.
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Family members of the murdered Schaffhausen sisters were in court on Wednesday
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Normal Officers say: Watch for Schaffhausen laptop, cell phone

Post by raine1953 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:01 pm

Law enforcement officials investigating the Schaffhausen murder case ask for the public’s help to find a laptop with a bag and cell phone belonging to Aaron Schaffhausen, who’s accused of murdering his three young daughters in River Falls July 10.

Police believe these items may have been ditched somewhere before Schaffhausen turned himself in. The items are a Sony VAIO laptop with a Targus laptop bag, as well as a cell phone.

Schaffhausen’s trial is set to begin April 1 and is anticipated to last four weeks.

Lt. Cathy Borgschatz of the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department said late Nov. 16 that since it is the opening weekend for hunting deer with a gun, there will be a lot of people “out in nature” who could help watch for the important evidence.

Anyone with information about the missing laptop, bag or cell phone should call Sgt. Jon Aubart with the River Falls Police Department at 715-425-0909 or the non-emergency dispatch number for either county.

Pierce County: 715-273-5051

St. Croix County: 715-386-4701.
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Normal Dad Accused of Killing Wis. Girls Appears Silent in Court

Post by raine1953 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:52 pm

A father accused of killing his three daughters appeared in a Saint Croix County court Wednesday morning for a pre-trial hearing.

Aaron Schaffhausen walked into the courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit, and was silent during the entire hearing.

The majority of the topics covered were several different motions the attorneys brought before the judge.

Some of the issues at hand were if a deadline needed to be set for the defense for a not guilty by reason of insanity plea.

The public defender said there is no reason to give him that deadline.

Another issue was if statements Schaffhausen made to the River Falls Police Department on the night of the murders can be suppressed.

The judge and both attorneys will watch the tape of that interrogation before the next hearing on Dec. 3.

A third issue was if the media would be allowed to bring cameras into the courtroom during the trial.

Police discovered the bodies of 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophia and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen in the River Falls home they shared with their mother in July.

They also found an overturned gasoline can in the basement.

Schaffhausen has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted arson.

The trial is scheduled for April.
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Normal Re: Aaron Schaffhausen Murdered Daughters Amara, Sophie & Cecil/Schaffhausen pleads guilty to murders, jury will decide if he was sane/Jury: Guilty BUT SANE of 3 counts 1st degree murder/7.16.13 Judge orders three life sentences to be served consecutively

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:27 pm

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Normal Judge to decide Thursday on moving Aaron Schaffhausen trial

Post by raine1953 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:03 pm

ST. CROIX COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A judge in St. Croix County will decide Thursday whether to move the possible trial of a man accused of killing his three young daughters at his ex-wife’s home in River Falls.

Unless there’s a plea deal, a three-week trial is planned in April for 35-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen, who’s charged with three counts of homicide plus attempted arson.

Circuit Judge Howard Cameron is expected to act on a defense request for a change of venue – which could mean either moving a trial, or bringing in a jury from outside the region. Prosecutors are fighting the change of venue, saying an impartial jury should be able to be selected in St. Croix County.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says the cost of Schaffhausen’s trial could go above $200,000.

Prosecutors have submitted a list of 105 possible witnesses – and defense lawyer John Kucinski says he’ll put 4 or 5 more on the stand.

If a trial’s held in Hudson, officials say the jury would need to be sequestered. Some TV stations have agreed to help pay the costs of wiring a courthouse community room for overflow spectators and reporters.

The clerk of courts’ office expects to spend up to $100,000 if a trial is held in Hudson. Sheriff John Shilts said security for a three-week trial could exceed another $100,000.
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Normal Father accused of killing three River Falls girls enters insanity plea

Post by raine1953 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:40 pm

The River Falls, Wis., man accused of killing his three daughters last year entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on Wednesday.

The plea was entered on behalf of Aaron Schaffhausen by John A. Kucinski, an assistant public defender in Wisconsin. Kucinski made the plea in a brief, one paragraph letter to the court in St. Croix County.

Schaffhausen, 35, was charged July 12 with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths of his daughters, 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia. He shared legal custody of the girls with their mother.
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Normal Father enters plea of insanity in deaths of River Falls girls

Post by raine1953 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:51 am

Aaron Schaffhausen, who's been silent at court appearances so far, will undergo a psychological evaluation.

The man charged with killing his three daughters in River Falls, Wis., last year entered an insanity plea on Wednesday, and the legal wrangling threatens to delay the planned start of the trial in April.

The plea was entered on behalf of Aaron Schaffhausen in a one-paragraph letter from his attorney, John A. Kucinski, an assistant public defender in Wisconsin. A Dec. 14 deadline for an insanity plea had been set by the judge; the prosecutor had expressed concern that a psychological exam needed in such cases could take up to three months.

The plea sets up a two-phase trial, the first to determine whether Schaffhausen committed the crimes, then one to ascertain his state of mind and determine whether he's not guilty by reason of insanity.

Calls to Kucinski seeking further comment were not returned Wednesday. Dana Brueck, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is helping in the case as a special prosecutor, said the agency had no comment on the plea.

Schaffhausen, 35, was charged July 12 with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of his daughters Amara, 11; Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5. He had shared legal custody of the girls with their mother, Jessica Schaffhausen, his former wife.

In court appearances so far, he has sat still and silent. When Schaffhausen was asked at an August hearing how he pleaded to charges against him, Kucinski answered for him, saying they opted to "stand mute." The court, by law, then entered a plea of not guilty.

The insanity plea can be withdrawn at any time before trial. Should that happen, any psychological evaluations performed in support of the plea would not be admissible.

When the deadline set by St. Croix County Circuit Judge Howard Cameron passed in December, Kucinski said he was not pursuing an insanity defense "as of now."

A hearing on a variety of motions before Cameron is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Circuit Court in Hudson, Wis. Among the issues that are expected to be discussed or ruled upon are changing the venue for the trial, the admissibility of statements Schaffhausen made to police and whether to allow cameras in the court.

The insanity plea says Schaffhausen is pleading not guilty "by reason of mental disease and defect to all four counts" -- three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one of attempted arson. Authorities at the crime scene found a gas fireplace turned on and gasoline poured in the basement.

Schaffhausen faces the possibility of life in prison on each intentional homicide charge if he is convicted.

According to a criminal complaint, Schaffhausen, then a carpenter living in Minot, N.D., called and texted his ex-wife around noon on July 10, saying he was nearby and asking to spend time with the children.

She agreed but told him he had to leave the house by 3:30 p.m., before she got home, the complaint says. A baby sitter said the girls were excited to see him and led him upstairs to show him their things.

The sitter left, and at 3:30, Jessica Schaffhausen told police, she got a call from her ex-husband telling her he had killed the children. Authorities found them in their beds. Two had died after having their throats slit; the third girl was strangled and had cuts on her neck.
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Normal Re: Aaron Schaffhausen Murdered Daughters Amara, Sophie & Cecil/Schaffhausen pleads guilty to murders, jury will decide if he was sane/Jury: Guilty BUT SANE of 3 counts 1st degree murder/7.16.13 Judge orders three life sentences to be served consecutively

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:13 pm

I am anxious to see what the psychological evaluation has to say.

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Normal Insanity plea accepted, change of venue denied in River Falls murders Read more: Aaron Schaffhausen insanity plea accepted.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:56 pm

Must see video here:
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Normal Re: Aaron Schaffhausen Murdered Daughters Amara, Sophie & Cecil/Schaffhausen pleads guilty to murders, jury will decide if he was sane/Jury: Guilty BUT SANE of 3 counts 1st degree murder/7.16.13 Judge orders three life sentences to be served consecutively

Post by spayneuteryourpets on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:11 am

I don't believe he is criminally insane. I think he just wanted to hurt his ex-wife as much as he could. Why else for the snarky text?
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Normal Re: Aaron Schaffhausen Murdered Daughters Amara, Sophie & Cecil/Schaffhausen pleads guilty to murders, jury will decide if he was sane/Jury: Guilty BUT SANE of 3 counts 1st degree murder/7.16.13 Judge orders three life sentences to be served consecutively

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:47 am

agreed I think the majority of the time, the "murderer is NOT insane".

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Normal Schaffhausen on suicide watch as judge orders jail note release

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:05 pm

Posted: Jan 31, 2013 6:03 PM CST
Updated: Jan 31, 2013 6:03 PM CST
by Rob Olson

HUDSON, Wis. (KMSP) -
The father who claims he is not guilty of murdering his three daughters due to insanity was back in court on Thursday as attorneys argued over access to his mental health records, specifically notes from jail.

Aaron Schaffhausen, 35, is accused of killing 5-year-old Cecilia, 8-year-old Sophie and 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen during a visit in July. Since then, he's been held in jail and is now reportedly on suicide watch.

Schaffhausen sat silent, unmoving again in court on Thursday, but his defender, John Kucinski, got a rise out of the judge after he responded to a claim that he was overcomplicating the process with a quip.

"No sniping. Not allowed," Judge Howard Cameron warned.

Given that Schaffhausen has pled not guilty by reason of insanity, all his mental health records are to be shared with the prosecution; however, Kucinski argued that notes from jail don't fit that definition and shouldn't have to be disclosed.

Prosecutor Gary Freyberg argued that they need to see everything in order to prepare, and the judge agreed -- yet in the end, it seems the struggle much have been much ado about nothing.

"They can go get them," Kucinski said. "There's nothing in them."

Cameron also denied a second motion from the defense to move the trial. It will remain in Hudson and begin on April 1.

Read more: Schaffhausen on suicide watch as judge orders jail note release - KMSP-TV [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Post by spayneuteryourpets on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:53 pm

Even if he is nuttier than a fruitcake, he still should be put away for life either in a prison or a secure mental hospital. He is not safe to be around any of us.
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Normal Attorneys argue whether threats, curses are relevant in Schaffhausen murder case

Post by raine1953 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:42 pm

Evidence showing Aaron Schaffhausen's anger in the months leading up to his three daughters' deaths should be allowed at his murder trial because it speaks to his mindset, prosecutors argued in court papers filed late Friday.
Schaffhausen is accused of killing his three daughters in the girls’ River Falls home in July. He entered an insanity plea in the case last month.
Defense attorneys filed court papers trying to exclude testimony or evidence about Schaffhausen yelling and cursing at the mother of his ex-wife, Jessica Schaffhausen, last February and March, as well as alleged threats he made to a man at various times.

Defense attorneys argued in court papers that such acts weren’t near enough in time, place, or circumstance to be relevant to the alleged crime and could prejudice a jury.

Prosecutors responded in filings late Friday that Schaffhausen’s yelling and cursing at his former mother-in-law “is evidence of the defendant’s extreme anger at Jessica Schaffhausen ... in the period not long before the crimes occurred” and shows intent and motive to commit the crimes. “These crimes were committed to extract revenge against his ex-wife, in the defendant’s own words (to other witnesses), ‘to make her suffer,’” prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors also argue that threatening statements made toward another man “proves the defendant was angry and jealous, so much so that he was willing and intending to kill not just Jessica Schaffhausen, but a man the defendant felt was interfering with his ability to have her for himself.” The threats were made repeatedly to many people over an extended time, prosecutors wrote, arguing that they show his motive was revenge and to make people suffer for what he thought were insults and wrongdoings.

The evidence tends to rebut the defense of mental disease or defect, prosecutors argue.

Schaffhausen, 35, is facing three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Amara, 11, Sophie, 8 and Cecilia, 5. He is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on Friday. The trial is scheduled to begin April 1.
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