Defense attorney, judge and prosecutor in triple murder are former co-workersDefense attorney John Kucinski doesn't believe the professional connections among himself, the special prosecutor and the judge in the triple-murder case in St. Croix County will have any bearing on the case.
By: By Chuck Rupnow, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram
HUDSON -- Defense attorney John Kucinski doesn't believe the professional connections among himself, the special prosecutor and the judge in the triple-murder case in St. Croix County will have any bearing on the case.
Kucinski represents Aaron Schaffhausen, who is accused of three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the murders of his daughters, Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5.
Kucinski works for the state Public Defender's Office in Hudson, and at one point worked in that office with Gary Freyberg and Howard Cameron.
Freyberg, now an assistant attorney general, is serving as special prosecutor in the case, while Cameron is the judge handling the case.
Freyberg worked in the public defender's office from Nov. 12, 1984, to Aug. 11, 2001. Kucinski started there Sept. 21, 1981, and Cameron worked in the office from Nov. 13, 1991, to July 31, 2008, according to the state Public Defender's Office in Madison.
During one court hearing, Cameron mentioned that the three knew each other. He and Freyberg both declined to comment for this article.
"It makes no difference at all," Kucinski said Monday. "It makes things somewhat easier, since we know each other."
Kucinski called it "interesting" -- especially since Freyberg now works out of Madison -- that the three would be working in these particular capacities for this high profile case.
"I have no concerns," he said. "I don't anticipate any issues."
Schaffhausen, 35, who was living in Minot, N.D., is accused of killing his three daughters July 10 at the River Falls residence his ex-wife was renting from him.
Schaffhausen reportedly called his ex-wife, saying she could return home and that he had killed the girls. Police found the dead, each with stab wounds. Schaffhausen turned himself in to police about two hours later.
Schaffhausen is also charged with attempted arson for reportedly trying to set the house on fire.
A motions hearing in the case is scheduled Sept. 20.
Rupnow can be reached at 715-830-5831, 800-236-7077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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