Schaffhausen trial begins with jury selection Monday


The trial of the man accused of killing his three daughters inside their River Falls, Wis., home last summer, begins Monday with jury selection in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

Last week, Aaron Schaffhausen admitted guilt on three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one of attempted arson.

He's accused in the July 2012 killings of his daughters 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia.

His defense hinges on the fact that he's not responsible for his actions due to mental illness.

Defense attorneys will have to convince 10 of 12 jurors that, because of a mental disease or defect, Schaffhausen lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the law, the Star Tribune reports.

The newspaper notes that Wisconsin legal experts have said it’s a difficult claim to win.

The trial won’t last as long as first thought, and certain graphic evidence may not be a part of the proceedings, WCCO reports.

Trial evidence is expected to include testimony from the girls' mother, Jessica Schaffhausen, and a recording of the 40-minute 911 call she made to police in River Falls, FOX 9 reports.

Lead defense attorney John Kucinski has said he could call 20 witnesses to the stand, and that the trial could last two weeks or so, KARE 11 reports.

If a jury finds Schaffhausen understood the wrongfulness of his crimes, he could face three consecutive life sentences, or at the least, 60 years, KARE 11 reports.

Next Up

Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker removed from rotation, fits in with Twins bullpen

The right-hander allowed two ninth-inning runs in a 6-4 loss to Houston.

1200 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 2019

1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting outside funeral in Minneapolis

The funeral was for one of two people killed in the shooting outside a Minneapolis nightclub in May.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 1.51.13 PM

Darnella Frazier awarded Pulitzer Prize special citation for George Floyd video

She was just 17 when she filmed George Floyd's murder at 38th and Chicago.

MN Food Truck Festival 3 jpg

MN Food Truck Festival returns with events in St. Paul, Anoka

Organizers promise 50-plus food trucks at each festival - including some newcomers.

Brian Mock body cam screengrab from charges - 2021.06.11

Charges: MN man bragged he 'beat the s**t' out of cops in Capitol riot

He was one of two suspects arrested in Minnesota and charged Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-04-01 at 3.30.32 PM

$23 a month for Bally Sports North? It could happen, per report

There is a way to circumnavigate the system already ... but it's kind of naughty.

Keisa Lange

4th suspect arrested in death of woman found along St. Cloud road; 3 others charged

Keisa Lange was found dead on the side of a quiet cul de sac from a gunshot.

Minnesota State Fair

It's official: Minnesota State Fair is on, with no COVID restrictions

Proof of vaccination won't be required, and face masks won't be mandatory.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Boy, 12, killed in ATV crash near Monticello

The boy was driving the ATV on private property.

Go Fund Me - Jupiter Paulsen

Suspect in random attack on girl, 14, in Fargo now charged with murder

The victim died from her injuries earlier this week.