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Doctor: Schaffhausen Was In An ‘Abysmal Tunnel’ When He Killed

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HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO) – On Tuesday, a medical expert took the stand all morning in the Aaron Schaffhausen murder trial.

Schaffhausen has admitted to killing his three daughters last summer in their River Falls, Wis., home, but he claims he was insane at the time.

Dr. John Reid Meloy, a “forensic psychologist” hired by the defense, used four different computer-based tests to conclude Schaffhausen suffered from major depression. He said Schaffhausen was in an “abysmal tunnel” when he murdered his girls.

“He would cry easily, was volatile, was angry. He was threatened, he was obsessed with Jessica. He had many death images, which is a part of the diagnosis of major depression,” Meloy said.

Schaffhausen lacks, in Meloy’s opinion, the capacity to conform his actions to limits of the law.

When the prosecutor Gary Freyberg cross-examined Meloy, Freyberg pointed out that Meloy didn’t receive all the evidence in the case due to budget limitations.

Freyberg also pointed out contradictions in what Schaffhausen told Meloy during his evaluations and what Schaffhausen told investigators.

Tuesday’s testimony differed from that of the court-appointed medical expert who testified on Monday, saying he did not believe Schaffhausen was insane when he committed the crimes.

In court Monday, Schaffhausen’s mother and father also took the stand. They described their son’s childhood as troubled, uncooperative and filled with mental health issues. His father talked about how their relationship got better when Schaffhausen became an adult and a father. He testified that his son loved his children, but fought depression.

The trial has now entered its second week, and could wrap up by the end of next week.

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