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Defense asks judge to throw out some evidence in Schaffhausen case

A long day of testimony left mostly questions Monday as Judge Howard Cameron presided over a hearing regarding suppression of evidence from the police interrogation and booking of Aaron Schaffhausen.

Schaffhausen, 35, is charged with three counts of first-degree homicide in the July 10 slaying of his young daughters in the River Falls house where they lived with their mother.

The accused man sat unresponsive and nearly immobile during Monday's hearing in St. Croix County -- just as he apparently did during most of the three-hour interview at the River Falls Police Department the day of the deaths.

Now the court reporter is asked to produce a transcript of Monday's hearing -- which lasted from shortly after 8:30 a.m. until 3:55 p.m. -- for attorneys by Dec. 17. The lawyers will then prepare and exchange briefs, and Judge Cameron is expected to decide by Jan. 17 whether or not proper procedure was followed in interviewing and booking Schaffhausen.

Among those who testified Monday was River Falls Police Department Investigator Chuck Golden, who questioned Schaffhausen when he was first taken into custody. Public Defender John Kucinski is arguing that the suspect was not properly Mirandized because he didn't give any response to the stock statements advising suspects of their rights.

Others who testified Monday were the River Falls officer who first encountered Schaffhausen on the street near the Police Department the day of the murders, his science professor at UW-River Falls; two Coon Rapids, Minn., officers who questioned Schaffhausen when he was a teen; the St. Croix County Jail captain; another jailer; and a paramedic called to the police station to medically evaluate the suspect.

Schaffhausen's jury trial is set for April 1-24, 2013.

For more, please read this week's print edition of either the River Falls Journal or the Hudson Star-Observer.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.