MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A judge has accepted a father’s plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease and defect, after he was accused of killing his three daughters in their River Falls, Wis. home.
Aaron Schaffhausen simply said “yes” when the judge asked him about his plea on Thursday morning in St. Croix County Court.
The judge also denied the defense’s request for a change of venue.
Schaffhausen will return to court on Jan. 31 for another hearing.
On Wednesday, John A. Kucinski, Schaffhausen’s attorney, entered the insanity plea in a brief, one paragraph letter to the court in St. Croix County.
Schaffhausen previously had a Dec. 14 deadline, set by St. Croix County circuit court Judge Howard Cameron, but failed to enter a not guilty plea by reason of insanity at that time. Kuscinski told the River Falls Journal he hadn’t received all the evidence to make a decision in December.
Schaffhausen, 35, was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths of his girls during a surprise visit back in July 2012, while his ex-wife was at work.
Schaffhausen shared custody of the girls — 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia.
Schaffhausen remains in the St. Croix County Jail on a $2 million bond.