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Kendhammer defense claims judge bias during murder trial, wants new one for sentencing



There could be a dramatic twist at a sentencing in a La Crosse murder case Friday, if the judge lets someone else do the sentencing.

The defense for Todd Kendhammer is asking trial judge Todd Bjerke to reassign sentencing.

Kendhammer faces life in prison after being convicted in December of beating his wife to death and faking a highway accident to cover up the beating.

His attorneys claims Bjerke was biased during the trial, making decisions which were preferential to the media covering the case.

District attorney Tim Gruenke said the motion for recusal probably will not cause any delay of Kendhammer’s sentencing. Gruenke thinks Bjerke will wait until Friday’s hearing to respond to the recusal request.

Kendhammer will get an automatic life sentence for murder, but the judge could decide whether to give him a chance at early release.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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