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Witnesses spot Schaffhausen at St. Paul hotel before he drove back to River Falls

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HUDSON - Aaron Schaffhausen spent the night at a hotel in downtown Saint Paul, just hours before he drove to River Falls and killed his three young daughters.

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At his sanity trial yesterday, Holiday Inn employees testified that Schaffhausen was reading on the patio of a pub while drinking a Bloody Mary. The bar workers said Schaffhausen was police, but his hands were shaking - and he appeared jittery. Prosecutors brought in the employees to help try-and-prove that the 35-year-old Schaffhausen knew what he was doing when he stabbed-and-slashed his daughters last July. That was almost a year after he and his ex-wife first broke up.

Schaffhausen has admitted to the slayings - but if his jury finds that he was not insane, he'll spend the rest of his life in prison. If he is found insane, Schaffhausen would be sent to a mental institution. The defense was the first to present its case, and it rested yesterday after Schaffhausen decided not to testify.

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