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The Boston Globe

Nation

Wisconsin man on trial for his daughters’ killings

Revenge motive alleged; defense cites mental state

HUDSON, Wis. — The day his ex-wife could legally remarry, Aaron Schaffhausen hopped aboard a train and left North Dakota to go back to Wisconsin. The next day, he cut their three young daughters’ throats, wrapped their necks with his spare T-shirts, and tucked them into bed.

Prosecutors used those details in opening statements Tuesday to press their case that Schaffhausen was driven by revenge — not mental illness — and decided the best way to punish his ex-wife was to kill their girls. His defense attorney argued that Schaffhausen sank into depression after the divorce and couldn’t control his emotions or actions.

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