NEW: Jury selected in Kendhammer trial - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

NEW: Jury selected in Kendhammer trial

Posted: Updated:
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

4:40 p.m.

A jury comprised of eleven women and four men will now hear the case of a West Salem man on trial for killing his wife last year. 

Around 4 p.m., the jury was finally seated on the first day of the trial against Todd Kendhammer. 

He's charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of his wife Barbara in September 2016 near West Salem. 

District Attorney Tim Gruenke, Kendhammer defense attorney Jonas Bednarek, and Judge Todd Bjerke spent the day interviewing potential jurors.

Most of the jurors were dismissed after saying they couldn't be impartial when reaching a verdict in the trial. Others were dismissed for medical reasons or not being able to be away from family or work for the scheduled two weeks of the trial. 

After being sworn in and receiving some preliminary instructions from the judge, the case will ended for the day. 

On Tuesday, the trial is set to resume at 8:30 a.m. To start the day, the court plans to transport the jury to the crash scene on County M. Opening arguments begin once the jury returns to the La Crosse County Courthouse later in the morning. 

WXOW plans to begin our live streaming coverage starting with the trial's opening arguments. Live coverage of the jury's visit to the scene won't be allowed. 

You can watch live coverage on www.WXOW.com/live throughout the trial. Viewers can also watch trial testimony via live stream on our WXOW News App. Additionally, we'll be posting updates on our Twitter feed. We'll also have a recap of the day's trial activities on Live at Five, the 6 p.m., and the 10 p.m. newscast.


3:30 p.m.

Interviews with potential jurors is taking longer than planned for on the first day of the trial of Todd Kendhammer. 

The West Salem man is charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide in the September 2016 death of his wife Barbara. La Crosse County Sheriff's deputies found Kendhammer and his wife crashed in their car on County M near Bergum Coulee Road. Todd Kendhammer told investigators that as they were driving north a pipe fell off a southbound truck, hit their windshield, and struck Barbara. She died the next day at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. 

However, forensic evidence and witness statements collected by investigators contradict what Kendhammer told authorities, which led to the homicide charge.

Once all the jurors and alternates are sworn in, the trial will start with opening arguments. 

District Attorney Tim Gruenke, Kendhammer's defense attorney Jonas Bednarek, and Judge Todd Bjerke are all asking jurors questions related to their ability to reach an impartial verdict. Ultimately, there will be 12 jurors and three alternates.

You can watch live coverage on www.WXOW.com/live throughout the trial starting with opening arguments. Viewing the live stream on our WXOW News App is also available. Additionally, we'll be posting updates on our Twitter feed. We'll also have a recap of the day's trial activities on Live at Five, the 6 p.m., and the 10 p.m. newscast.


2:15 p.m.

Jury selection continues in the homicide trial of a West Salem man accused of killing his wife in 2016. 

Todd Kendhammer is accused of killing his wife Barbara in September 2016.  

Deputies responding to the crash on County Road M near Bergum Coulee Road around 8 a.m. found Kendhammer and his wife. He told investigators they were traveling northbound on County Road M when a pipe fell off a southbound truck, hitting their windshield and striking Barbara.

She died the next day at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.


READ MORE: Todd Kendhammer Trial Coverage


Several dozen potential jurors were questioned by both prosecutors and defense attorneys starting Monday morning in La Crosse County Circuit Court. 

As of noon, when the court called for a lunch break, eleven jurors were seated. Interviews to fill the remaining spots continued into early afternoon. 

Once all the jurors and alternates are sworn in, the trial will start with opening arguments. 

You can watch live coverage on www.WXOW.com/live throughout the trial starting with opening arguments. Viewing the live stream on our WXOW News App is also available. Additionally, we'll be posting updates on our Twitter feed. We'll also have a recap of the day's trial activities on Live at Five, the 6 p.m., and the 10 p.m. newscast.


Jury selection is underway in the homicide trial of Todd Kendhammer who is charged with killing his wife in 2016.

Monday morning, prospective jurors were interviewed by both prosecutors and Kendhammer's attorneys in an effort to get 12 jurors and alternates. 

The first potential juror, a woman, was not chosen for the jury based on her answers to both attorneys. So was the second potential juror.

After more than an hour, only two jurors, both women, were picked for the jury. By 10:15 a.m., four jurors were selected to the jury.

Nine jurors were chosen by 11:15 a.m. when Judge Todd Bjerke called for a short break.

When the case broke for lunch just before noon, there were eleven people on the jury. 

Interviews are continuing in the early afternoon. 

Members supporting Kendhammer made up a large portion of the crowd watching in the courtroom Monday morning. During breaks, several people engaged Kendhammer in conversation. 

We will be providing updates during jury selection and as opening arguments begin. 

You can watch live coverage on WXOW.com/live throughout the trial starting with opening arguments. You can also follow along on our Twitter feed for additional live updates. We'll also have a recap of the day's trial activities on Live at Five, the 6 p.m., and the 10 p.m. newscast.


Monday will mark the beginning of what's expected to be a 10-day trial for 47-year-old Todd Kendhammer, charged with first degree intentional homicide in death 2016 death of his wife Barbara.

The trial's start is two days shy of a year when Kendhammer was arrested and charged in her death. The La Crosse County Sheriff's Department classified her death as a domestic violence incident.

In September of 2016 deputies responded to a crash on County Road M near Bergum Coulee Road around 8 a.m. where they found Kendhammer and his wife. He told investigators they were traveling northbound on County Road M when a pipe fell off a southbound truck, hitting their windshield and striking Barbara.

She passed away the following day at Gundersen Health System.

However, forensic evidence and witness statements collected by investigators contradict what Kendhammer told authorities, which led to the homicide charge. Jury selection for the trial begins Monday morning at 8:45 a.m. The trial is scheduled to begin around 1:00 p.m. in front of Judge Todd Bjerke.

News 19 will be live streaming the entire trial, which will be available on our website at www.WXOW.com/live as well as our mobile app. Coverage is slated to begin around 1:00 Monday afternoon when opening arguments get underway.

For complete coverage of the trial, including photos, 911 audio recordings and previous stories, visit our Kendhammer Trial Coverage page. 

Powered by Frankly