Wis. Dad Accused of Killing Daughters Shows No Emotion in Court
A judge has ordered a River Falls, Wis., father accused of killing his three young daughters to stand trial.
St. Croix County Circuit Judge Scott Needham says prosecutors presented enough evidence during a preliminary hearing Tuesday to try Aaron Schaffhausen on three counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
Aaron Schaffhausen's daughters Amara, Sophie, and Cecilia were found dead nearly two weeks ago in their home.
When Aaron Schaffhausen was brought into court Tuesday, he was dressed in an orange jumpsuit- handcuffed, with shackles around his waist and ankles.
He sat, and showed no emotion as the witnesses spoke.
The Schaffhausen's babysitter, Fallon Elizabeth Moore was the first witness to take the stand.
Moore testified she had been babysitting for the family for the past five years. She said she was watching the girls on July 10, 2012- the day the girls were found dead.
Moore testified when the girl's father, Aaron Schaffhausen, arrived at the home, the girls were very happy to see him.
Moore said he greeted her normally, and she spoke to him again when she left. She said Aaron Schaffhausen "seemed slightly gruff, but not impolite," saying that was normal behavior for him.
Moore said she did not think anything bad was going to happen when she left the home.
An employee of the River Falls Police Department, Ailene Splittgerber, was the second witness called to the stand.
Splittgerber said she took a call from a hysterical, distressed woman on July 10. The woman wanted officers to go to her residence to check on her children.
During the call the woman identified herself as Jessica Schaffhausen.
Splittgerber said during the call the woman said, "Her ex-husband had called her and said that she could come home now, that he had killed the children."
Not all calls that come into the department are recorded. Splittgerber said she decided to record this particular call because the woman seemed hysterical.
Splittgerber said she was on the phone with Jessica Schaffhausen for about 40 minutes.
John Wilson, an investigator with the River Falls Police Department, was the final witness called to the stand. He was dispatched to the home on Morningside Avenue on July 10.
Wilson said he entered the home around 4 p.m. to check on the status of the children.
He immediately went upstairs and went into a bedroom. He saw a young child in a bed with the blankets up to her neckline. Wilson said the child appeared to be lifeless and had dried blood on her face.
The second bedroom Wilson entered had bunk beds. He saw a lifeless child on the top bunk. He said she appeared to have dried blood on her face. The blankets were also up to her neckline.
In the third bedroom Wilson entered, he found a third child in a bed. He said the child was also lifeless, appeared to have dried blood on her face, and the blankets were also up to her neckline. In this room there was what appeared to be a large pool of blood on the carpet, and blood splatter on the walls.
Wilson said he was at the River Falls Police Department while Aaron Schaffhausen was there.
He briefly participated in the interview with Aaron Schaffhausen.
Wilson testified Aaron Schaffhausen had what looked like a red spot of blood on the pocket of his cargo shorts.
When asked if he suspected Aaron Schaffhausen of killing his children, Wilson replied, "absolutely."
Wilson said he does not know if a weapon in the murders was found. He said, there were several knives and utility knives taken from the residence, but he didn't know if they were connected to the murders.
An arraignment trial was scheduled for Aug. 28 at 4 p.m.
Aaron Schaffhausen is currently being held on $2 million bond.
Click here to watch video of the witnesses' testimony.
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