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NEW INFORMATION: Jury hears 911 call from mother of 3 slain girls

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- The mother of three Wisconsin girls slain by their father was inconsolable as she begged police to send officers to check on her daughters.

Jurors listened to Jessica Schaffhausen's 911 call as testimony began Tuesday in the trial of her ex-husband, Aaron Schaffhausen. She called police right after he called her to say he had killed their kids.

Through sobs and shallow breathing, she told police he had history of mental illness and that he had stopped taking his anti-depressant medication in March or April after he threatened the kids. But she also said he had stopped drinking, and had told her he was feeling a lot better.

Aaron Schaffhausen has pleaded guilty to killing his daughters at their River Falls home last July, but is using an insanity defense.
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HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- A prosecutor says a Wisconsin man on trial for killing his three young daughters in July was driven by revenge against his ex-wife.

Gary Freyberg, Wisconsin's assistant attorney general, told jurors Tuesday that Aaron Schaffhausen decided killing the girls was the best way to punish his ex-wife.

The 35-year-old Schaffhausen has admitted killing his daughters -- ages 11, 8 and 5 -- at their home in River Falls, Wis., last July. Schaffhausen is seeking to convince a jury he's not responsible due to mental illness.

Freyberg used his opening statement to reject the idea that Schaffhausen couldn't control his emotions or actions.

Freyberg says Schaffhausen planned the killings, brought the tool he used to cut his daughters' throats with him from North Dakota and tried to get rid of evidence.
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HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- The attorney for a man accused of killing his three young daughters in Wisconsin says his client was spiraling out of control in the months leading up to the slayings last July.

Aaron Schaffhausen, 35, has admitted killing his daughters -- ages 11, 8 and 5 -- at their home in River Falls, Wis. But Schaffhausen is seeking to convince a jury that he's not responsible due to mental illness.

In opening statements Tuesday at his trial in Hudson, defense attorney John Kucinski says Schaffhausen became increasingly erratic and obsessive after he and his ex-wife, Jessica, divorced in January. He says Schaffhausen called Jessica constantly and sometimes threatened to hurt her or the girls.

Prosecutors say Schaffhausen planned the killings and that contradicts his claim of mental illness.
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HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has been selected to hear the insanity trial of a man who admitted last week that he killed his three daughters in their River Falls home.

Thirty-five-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree intentional homicide, but he maintains he is not responsible because of a mental illness.

Prosecutors say Schaffhausen knew what he was doing last July when he killed 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia.

A St. Croix County jury of nine women and six men were picked Monday to hear the case. Opening statements will begin Tuesday.

If Schaffhausen is found sane, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. If the jury finds he was not responsible, he could be committed to a psychiatric institution and possibly released someday.
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HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin man has admitted slashing his three daughters to death. Now, a jury will decide whether they believe his claim that he was insane when he did it.

Aaron Schaffhausen (SHAF'-howz-ihn) goes on trial Monday in St. Croix County, just east of Minneapolis. Schaffhausen last week admitted cutting the throats of his daughters -- 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia -- last July in their River Falls home.

Prosecutors say Schaffhausen was bitter over his divorce from his ex-wife, Jessica, and angry because he thought she had begun seeing another man. A criminal complaint says he called his ex-wife the day the girls were slain and told her: "You can come home now because I killed the kids."

Schaffhausen's attorney says his client has a "major depressive order."


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