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Jury selection in Schaffhausen triple-murder case


HUDSON, Wis (WSAU)   A jury will be picked in Hudson today to decide whether Aaron Schaffhausen was sane when he killed his three daughters last July in River Falls. The verdict will determine if the 35-year-old Schaffhausen will go to a mental institution or spend the rest of his life in prison. That’s after he pleaded guilty last week to homicide and attempted arson.

Schaffhausen admitted slashing-and-stabbing his young daughters Amara, Sophie, and Cecilia, ages 5-to-11. Prosecutors said Schaffhausen wanted to hurt his ex-wife Jessica, because he thought she was seeing another man. Defense lawyer John Kucinski doesn’t buy that. He said Schaffhausen has a quote, “major depressive order.” And he promised that it would be explained fully during the sanity trial.

Several mental health experts have interviewed Schaffhausen. Three of them are expected to testify – one appointed by the judge, one by the state, and the third by the defense.

Assistant attorney general Gary Freyberg says he’ll still call most of the witnesses who were planning to testify in the criminal phase of the trial, which was called off after Schaffhausen’s guilty pleas last Thursday.