St. Croix County (WQOW)- A North Dakota man pleads not guilty to the murder of his three daughters.
The arraignment for Aaron Schaffhausen was held Tuesday afternoon in St. Croix County. Schaffhausen chose to stand mute. That means he chose not to enter a plea. The court then entered a not guilty plea for him, which is common practice when someone stands mute. Last month, Amara, Sophie and Cecilia Schaffhausen were found dead in their home in River Falls. Their throats had been slit. Investigators say their father made a surprise visit to the home while their mother was out. One issue had both sides pointing fingers at the other. During the last month, the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department sent in a mental health expert to speak with Schaffhausen, but when the therapist got to the cell, Schaffhausen refused to speak with him.
"The sheriff has a duty to provide health care and he requested that his therapist go and interview Mr. Schaffhausen," says Assistant Attorney General Gary Freyberg. "To me, that's the extent of the controversy. Mr. Schaffhausen apparently declined."
"We are considering now going up to the Court of Appeals to see if you are in jail, do you have a 5th Amendment right? Maybe in Wisconsin it's lost," countered Defense Attorney John Kucinski.
Schaffhausen will be back in court on September 20th for a protective order hearing.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A North Dakota construction worker accused of killing his three young daughters is expected to enter a plea in a Wisconsin court.
Aaron Schaffhausen of Minot is scheduled to appear at an arraignment Tuesday in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Prosecutors expect him to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. His attorney has declined to comment on a possible plea.
Investigators believe Schaffhausen showed up at the house the girls shared with their mother in River Falls for a surprise visit last month while their mother was out. They believe he killed the girls and then called the mother and told her to come home because her children were dead.
Schaffhausen and the girls' mother divorced in January.
WQOW News 18 will be at the plea hearing and will have more tonight at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
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