St. Croix County (WQOW)- We are learning new details Tuesday about an obsessive man who wanted to hurt his ex-wife in the worst way imaginable. Aaron Schaffhausen has admitted killing his three daughters last year in river falls, but claims he was insane. A jury must now decide whether it agrees with that claim. On Tuesday, both sides made opening statements.
The defense and the prosecution reached one major agreement; both say Schaffhausen was obsessed with his ex-wife Jessica. The defense recalls Schaffhausen would call her between 30 and 40 times a day after their separation.
"Jessica describes it like Aaron, you are being psychotic. You can't do what you are doing. Quit drinking. See your doctor," remembers Schaffhausen's Defense Attorney John Kucinski. "It goes in one ear and out of the other."
The prosecution says Schaffhausen had talked many times with co-workers in North Dakota about wanting to kill his children. The prosecution also alleges he even started driving from North Dakota to River Falls to commit murder months before the girls were killed, but turned around when he was halfway there. Last March, he allegedly called Jessica and told her he was going to tie her up and have her choose which child he was going to kill.
"He wanted to kill the children because she would then have to live with it for the rest of her life," points out Prosecutor Gary Freyberg.
The defense claims Schaffhausen didn't know what he was doing when he killed the girls last July.
"He doesn't recall what happened. He doesn't know why it happened," Kucinski recounts. "All he recalls is he's choking the little one, Cecelia."
The prosecution argued that Schaffhausen knew exactly what he was doing before, during, and after; stating that since he talked about it so much, he clearly put some thought into it. The trial could last two to three weeks.
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