UPDATE: Jury will weigh sanity of dad who killed 3 girls - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Jury will weigh sanity of dad who killed 3 girls


HUDSON (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.


HUDSON (WKOW) -- The man who admitted to killing his three young daughters will go on trial starting Monday.

Aaron Schaffhausen, 35, pleaded guilty but insane Thursday in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Police say last summer, he murdered his three daughters in River Falls, Wisconsin. Amara, 11, Sophie, 8 and Cecilia, 5 were found dead in their beds. Their throats had been slit and gasoline was poured in the basement. Police say Schaffhausen set their home on fire.

Because of the guilty but insane plea, Schaffhausen's lawyer will now have to prove he had a mental disease or defect so severe he wasn't responsible for what he did. The attorney says his client has a "major depressive order."

Prosecutors allege Schaffhausen killed the children to get back at his ex-wife after a bitter divorce. According to the criminal complaint, he texted his ex-wife on July 10 to ask for an unscheduled visit with the girls and she said it was okay.

When Schaffhausen got there, he sent the baby sitter away, according to the complaint. About two hours later, he called his ex-wife and told her, "You can come home now because I killed the kids."

Jury selection starts Monday morning.

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