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Attorneys disagree on Schaffausen's losing emotional control in triple homicide


ST. CROIX COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A state prosecutor doesn’t buy the idea that Aaron Schaffhausen lost control of his emotions when he killed his three young daughters in River Falls last summer.

Assistant attorney general Gary Freyberg told a jury Tuesday that Schaffhausen was driven by revenge against his ex-wife – and he planned the killings, brought his own slashing tool, and then tried to hide the evidence when he was done.

Schaffhausen has already pleaded guilty to homicide and attempted arson charges. But he’s still being tried on his claim that he was insane at the time of the murders – and depending on the outcome, he’ll either end up in prison or a mental institution.

Tuesday morning, defense lawyer John Kucinski told the jury that depression and alcohol caused the 35-year-old Schaffhausen to have a downward spiral – and he went out of control in the final months before the slayings.

He divorced his wife six months before the killings.

After the opening arguments, witnesses began testifying. Schaffhausen’s sanity trial is expected to last about three weeks in St. Croix County Circuit Court.