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Judge Rules On Evidence Dispute In Schaffhausen Trial

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(credit: CBS) Jamie Yuccas
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A man accused of murdering his three daughters returned to court in Wisconsin Thursday afternoon.

Aaron Schaffhausen is accused of killing 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia inside the girls’ River Falls, Wis., home in July.

At the St. Croix County Courthouse the main argument was whether or not to keep sensitive materials sealed.

Investigators collected evidence like pictures, cell phone records and text messages from the murder scene in July. Much of the evidence has been described as incredibly graphic. Prosecutors wanted to make sure those items were protected, because they could cause emotional distress to the victims.

But the defense wanted to make sure they, and their experts, had access to those documents.

“In the digital age, once the genie is out of the bottle, there’s no getting it back in again,” warned prosecutor Gary Freyberg in court. “It’s the concept of irreparable harm.”

Judge Howard Cameron ruled the defense could get a copy of the material. Their experts can also get a copy, but in no way can Schaffhausen or third parties, including family members, get the materials.

The next brief in the case is scheduled for Oct.17, but the lawyers will not return to court until Nov. 21.

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