Judge won't change venue for Schaffhausen trial

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge won't move the trial for a North Dakota construction worker accused of killing his daughters out of St. Croix County.

Aaron Schaffhausen's public defender, John Kucinski, had asked Judge Howard Cameron for a change of venue. Cameron denied the request on Thursday. The judge said he believed a fair and impartial jury could be drawn from within the county.

Schaffhausen faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted arson in connection with the deaths of his daughters, 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia. Police in July discovered all three girls tucked into their beds in their River Falls home with their throats slit.

Schaffhausen has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. His trial is set for April.
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INFO FROM KARE 11:

HUDSON, Wis. - A request to move the trial of a father accused of murdering his three young daughters was denied Thursday.

Attorneys for accused killer Aaron Schaffhausen made the request, maintaining that he cannot receive a fair trial in St. Croix County, a community just miles from River Falls, Wisconsin, the city where the murders of the girls took place.

The judge is expected to rule on another defense request to suppress statements made by Schaffhausen either later Thursday or sometime Friday.

Thursday morning's court appearance comes one day after Schaffhausen and his attorneys filed documents to enter an insanity plea. His defense team claims it has not received all of the medical records held by prosecutors and will file a motion to receive them.

The hearing was sometimes contentious, with the judge and Schaffhausen's lead defense attorney exchanging terse words as they plowed through a laundry list of requests and motions.

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STORY FROM 1/16/13
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A North Dakota construction worker has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease and defect to killing his three young daughters in River Falls.

Aaron Schaffhausen faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted arson in connection with the July deaths of his daughters, 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia.

Police discovered all three girls tucked into their beds with their throats slit in July. Prosecutors say Schaffhausen killed the girls to hurt his ex-wife.

A St. Croix County judge entered not guilty pleas on all four charges for Schaffhausen in August. Schaffhausen's attorney, John Kucinski, filed the mental disease pleas on Wednesday.

Schaffhausen's trail is set for April.


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