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Continued: Jury rejects defense contention that Aaron Schaffhausen was insane when he killed his daughters

  • Article by: PAM LOUWAGIE , Star Tribune staff writer
  • Last update: April 17, 2013 - 8:33 AM

Defense attorneys argued that Schaffhausen was a troubled, depressed, mentally diseased man who was trying subconsciously to sever his dependence on his ex-wife. Using a diagnosis from a California forensic psychologist, they contended Schaffhausen suffered “major depression” accompanied by personality traits that caused him to lack the ability to control himself. It resulted in a rare “catathymic homicide,” they said.

Prosecutors argued there were less mysterious reasons: revenge, anger and jealousy.

They argued that Schaffhausen gained his ex-wife’s trust by stopping his threats of violence in the weeks before the crimes.

At the girls’ house that day, he tried to keep most of the house free of blood and tucked his daughters into bed after killing them so that when his ex-wife came home she would get the biggest shock possible, Freyberg argued.

Jessica Schaffhausen said she has gained strength from an outpouring of support.

“I’m really only able to be here because so many people have been so incredibly supportive and kind,” she said. “I know this really evil thing has happened, but all I’ve seen outside of that one act is a lot of good from people.”

Though she didn’t attend most of the trial, Jessica Schaffhausen gave composed testimony on the witness stand during its first week. She said Tuesday she wanted to do her best to make sure the truth came out as accurately as possible and justice was done for her daughters.

“I was doing it for them,” she said.

 

Staff writers Nicole Norfleet and Elizabeth Flores contributed to this report.

Pam Louwagie • 612-673-7102



 

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