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Schaffhausen might plead guilty Thursday, trial would focus on sanity


HUDSON, WI (WSAU) - The former River Falls man accused of murdering his three daughters may change his plea in court today. Aaron Schaffhausen is now expected to plead guilty to killing 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia in their home to get back at his ex-wife Jessica.

If he does change his plea today, the trial will begin Monday as expected, but it will focus on whether or not Schaffhausen is insane or not. Prosecutor Gary Freyberg will argue that Aaron Schaffhausen planned the killings and is sane. Defense Attorney John Kucinski plans to use a prosecution expert witness to show his client is mentally ill.

An attempt will be made to introduce as little graphic evidence as necessary to present the case, but Freyberg says they may have to have a closed proceeding if the court needs to go into that level of detail.

If Schaffhausen is found guilty and insane, he would likely be sent to a state mental hospital. It is possible he could be released in the future.

Thursday’s plea hearing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at the St. Croix County Courthouse in Hudson, Wisconsin.