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Judge refuses outside jury in Schaffhausen murder trial

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ST. CROIX COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A judge in St. Croix County said no Thursday to having a far-away jury decide the fate of Aaron Schaffhausen.

He’s the man charged with killing his three young daughters in River Falls last July.

Circuit Judge Howard Cameron disagreed with a public defender that the 35-year-old Schaffhausen could not get a fair trial in the county where the slayings took place, because of the heavy pre-trial publicity in the case.

Schaffhausen pleaded not guilty by insanity Wednesday to 3 charges of homicide, plus a count of attempted arson. His lawyer said he has not received medical records held by prosecutors – and he would file a request to get those.

Schaffhausen is accused of slashing his daughters to death at the home of his ex-wife in River Falls, and strangling one of them.

The judge was expected to rule later Thursday or Friday on a defense request to prevent a jury from hearing statements Schaffhausen made to authorities. 

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