Schaffhausen may change plea to guilty but still argue insanity


His lawyer says the man accused of killing his three three daughters in River Falls, Wisc., may change his plea to guilty at a court hearing Wednesday.

But the attorney tells the Star Tribune Aaron Schaffhausen would continue to argue that he is not responsible for the crimes by reason of insanity.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in a courtroom in Hudson.

Schaffhausen's public defender, John Kucinski, tells the newspaper the change in plea -- if it happens -- would allow the trial to consist of a single phase involving Schaffhausen's state of mind. Otherwise there would be a criminal phase followed, if necessary, by an insanity phase.

Last month the judge ordered Schaffhausen to submit to multiple psychiatric evaluations.

Schaffhausen is charged with murdering his 11, 8 and 5-year-old daughters last summer in the River Falls home where they lived with his ex-wife.

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Not guilty plea entered for Schaffhausen after he stands mute in court

The man accused of killing his three daughters in their River Falls home last month declined to enter a plea at his court appearance Tuesday. A judge then entered a not guilty plea on Aaron Schaffhausen's behalf. The move was somewhat surprising, since prosecutors had expected Schaffhausen to plead not guilty by reason of mental deficiency.