Jury selected in Schaffhausen trial

3:10 PM, Apr 1, 2013   |    comments
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HUDSON, Wis. - A jury has been selected to determine the fate of admitted murderer Aaron Schaffhausen.

Nine women and six men of varying ages will make up the jury pool, with three being alternates.

Earlier Monday, eight potential jurors were questioned and all were struck, most by the defense team after they said they could not be impartial when deciding if Schaffhausen was legally insane when he killed his 3 daughters in July of 2012.

KARE 11's Boua Xiong said most of those questioned were mothers, fathers or grandparents who said evidence that would mostly concentrate on the murders of three children would make it impossible for them to listen to the case, much less make a ruling on the defendant's sanity.

Most of the questions asked of the potential jurors surrounded their views on mental health, and how they felt about the science of psychology.  

Schaffhausen changed the scope of the trial last Thursday when he changed his plea in the case from not guilty by reason of insanity to guilty, while still claiming he was insane when he slashed the throats of his daughters, 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia. 

The twelve jurors will hear the case and a ten-person majority would be needed to determine if he is responsible for the crimes, and if he goes to prison or a mental health institution.

The burden of proving that Schaffhausen was insane when he committed the murders now lays with his defense team; Lead defense attorney John Kucinski estimates he'll call 20 witnesses to the stand in a trial that is expected to last two weeks or so.

If the jury finds he understood the wrongfulness of his crimes, Schaffhausen faces three consecutive sentences of life in prison and at the very least, 60 years on the three homicide charges. That would not include the sentence he faces for attempted arson.

The trial begins Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

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