Schaffhausen case puts strain on overtime budgetThe case of Aaron Schaffhausen, accused in the murders of his three young daughters in River Falls early in July, is scheduled for a motion hearing on Thursday, Sept. 20, in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
By: By Jon Echternacht, New Richmond News
The case of Aaron Schaffhausen, accused in the murders of his three young daughters in River Falls early in July, is scheduled for a motion hearing on Thursday, Sept. 20, in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
In the meantime, sheriff’s deputies have been pressed into overtime as the case garners widespread media attention.
Sheriff John Shilts said maintaining a round the clock suicide watch over Schaffhausen and other duties have cost $12,000 in overtime so far.
“The cost of overtime is the biggest strain on the budget,” Shilts said in a telephone conversation Tuesday morning from Aurora, Colo., where he is attending a conference.
“There are many hours also dedicated to the case during the regular duties of deputies,” he said.
However, Shilts said it is not unusual for a big case to require extra effort and overtime from the sheriff’s office.
“We hold expenses down and reserve budget dollars until the end of the year before we make any purchases,” he said.
Shilts said sometimes the extraordinary caseload during the year is such that, “we don’t make new purchases.”
This has been part of the sheriff department’s regular procedure over the years. “This is nothing new,” said Shilts. “It’s just this case is so highly publicized.”
The budget impact of the Schaffhausen case was an item on the county’s public protection committee’s agenda Sept. 14.
At 3:45 p.m. July 10, River Falls police were called to 2790 Morningside Ave., on the northeast edge of the River Falls after Jessica Schaffhausen contacted the department and said her ex-husband, the father of her three children, telephoned her he “killed the kids,” the criminal complaint said.
Police found the three children, Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5, each in their own bed with blankets covering their bodies and necklines.
An autopsy report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office said Amara and Sophie died from sharp force injuries to the right side of their necks. Cecilia died from a sharp force injury to the neck and strangulation.