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Judge turns down Kendhammer murder appeal; case could still go to a higher court

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A La Crosse County judge has turned down Todd Kendhammer’s request for a new murder trial, in the death of his wife Barbara.

Court records show that Judge Todd Bjerke issued an order this week, denying the West Salem man’s claim that the defense was faulty at his local trial. Bjerke’s ruling can be appealed to a higher court.

Kendhammer was found guilty of fatally beating Barbara along a rural highway in September of 2016, allegedly faking a car accident to explain her injuries. Kendhammer claimed that a metal pipe fell off a passing truck and smashed through his car windshield, striking his wife.

In 2017, a La Crosse jury convicted Kendhammer, and he’s serving a life term in prison. Bjerke’s ruling this week followed a three-day evidence hearing last August to support an appeal, with much of the testimony backing the pipe theory.

At least two national TV news shows have done reports on the Kendhammer case. In January, “48 Hours” on CBS devoted an entire program to the case, including video speculating how a pipe could have crashed into the windshield.  

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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1 Comment

  1. V.H.

    June 5, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    This so-called man, lies so many times, I was stunned. He can’t complete a sentence without lying. His and Barbs family should be so ashamed of themselves. I can only assume they all want the free labor he can provide. If he was my father, I would hang my head low. Barbs brother does not want to shovel snow, repair toilets, etc., so he will protect the man who would kill his sister. Why was he so afraid to tell his wife he was doing the night shift? Many times in the recordings, he states, ” She does not like being alone”, but yet he is working nights for 3 months. Of course she did not know. I am so relieved, he did not ask for a lawyer. We where all able to see, hear, this person lie, constantly. He will be a perfect prisoner and get out after 30 years. What the family is indicating, by their actions, they did not like or care for Barb. At least not as much.

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