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Schaffhausen read, drank in St. Paul before family slayings


ST. CROIX COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Aaron Schaffhausen spent the night at a hotel in downtown St. Paul, just hours before he drove to River Falls and killed his three young daughters.

At his sanity trial Wednesday, Holiday Inn employees testified that Schaffhausen was reading on the patio of a pub while drinking a Bloody Mary. The bar workers said Schaffhausen was polite, but his hands were shaking – and he appeared jittery.

Prosecutors brought in the employees to help try and prove that the 35-year-old Schaffhausen knew what he was doing when he stabbed and slashed his daughters last July. That was almost a year after he and his ex-wife first broke up.

Schaffhausen has admitted to the slayings – but if his jury finds that he was not insane, he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison. If he is found insane, Schaffhausen would be sent to a mental institution.

The defense was the first to present its case, and it rested Wednesday after Schaffhausen decided not to testify.