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NEW INFORMATION: News cameras not allowed to record witness testimony

By: AP and WEAU 13 News Staff Email
By: AP and WEAU 13 News Staff Email

HUDSON, Wis. (WEAU) – Monday was a big day in court for the father who’s accused of killing his three young daughters, and there were new developments on whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during the proceedings.

Aaron Schaffhausen, 35, of Minot, ND is accused of killing his three daughters: 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie, and 5-year-old Cecilia. They were found dead in their home in River Falls in July. Schaffhausen entered not guilty pleas to the related charges in late August.

Late Monday afternoon, the judge had yet to decide whether a recording of police interrogating Schaffhausen that’s more than three hours long can be used at trial. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports a UW-River Falls professor who had Schaffhausen as a student three years ago testified that Schaffhausen was upset about his divorce and concerned about losing his girls, but that he was not delusional.

A judge ruled that news cameras could not record witness testimony on Monday. The prosecution and defense had argued that having cameras in the courtroom could taint potential jurors.

Schaffhausen's lawyer wants the judge to force prosecutors to provide a list of Schaffhausen's statements that they plan to use during a trial, but prosecutors argue that's not necessary. They say putting a list like that together will hamper their efforts to prepare for trial.

Schaffhausen has until December 14 to decide whether he'll plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

A criminal defense lawyer who isn't connected to the case says it would be tough to win the case that way. Joe Tamburino says Schaffhausen would have to show that he has a mental disease or defect to the point where he either couldn't conform his behavior to legal conduct, or couldn't recognize that what he was doing was wrong.

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HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- The father accused of killing his three young daughters at the girls' western Wisconsin home is back in court.

Among the issues expected to be addressed at a hearing for Aaron Schaffhausen in St. Croix County Circuit Court Monday is a videotaped police interrogation and what jurors may or may not be able to see from the 3 1/2-hour interview.

The 35-year-old carpenter from Minot, N.D., is accused of killing 5-year-old Cecilia, 8-year-old Sophie and 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen at their home in River Falls last July during a visit with his daughters.

The Star Tribune reports the home owned by Schaffhausen where the girls died is now in foreclosure.


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