Kendhammer Trial Day 3: Prosecutors attack alibi - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Kendhammer Trial Day 3: Prosecutors attack alibi

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Dr. Kathleen McCubbin testifies about the autopsy she performed on Barbara Kendhammer. Dr. Kathleen McCubbin testifies about the autopsy she performed on Barbara Kendhammer.
Retired La Crosse County Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Yehle talks about the conversation he had with Todd Kendhammer on Sept .16, 2016, the day of the crash. Retired La Crosse County Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Yehle talks about the conversation he had with Todd Kendhammer on Sept .16, 2016, the day of the crash.
Justin Heim Justin Heim
Randy Erler Randy Erler

Prosecutors presented witnesses Wednesday afternoon that questioned the credibility of Todd Kendhammer's explanation of the events that happened on September 16, 2016. 

The testimony included a co-worker of Todd Kendhammer that testified he never made arrangements to leave a vehicle for Kendhammer to fix a windshield.

Justin Heim worked with Kendhammer at Crown Cork and Seal in La Crosse. He told jurors that it was months before September that a conversation took place regarding a windshield. 

Heim specifically said that he did not leave a vehicle for Todd to pick up on September 16, the day of the accident. 

Part of Kendhammer's alibi to authorities as to why both he and Barbara Kendhammer were in their vehicle that morning was that they were headed to Heim's residence to pick up his vehicle to work on the windshield. 

Following Heim, Randy Erler testified about coming upon the vehicle that morning. He said he drove past the vehicle sitting partially in a ditch. He said he drove by the car about 4-5 miles an hour but didn't stop. He said the passenger side door was open and that he saw it was open by looking through the windshield. When asked by La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke if he saw any damage to the windshield, he said, "no, I did not." Erler said he would have stopped if he saw any kind of damage. 

Erler also said there was no one around the vehicle. After seeing no one, he drove on to a nearby home where he was doing some construction work. He told jurors he later heard sirens, but didn't think they were coming to the vehicle on Bergum Coulee Road because there was no one was around. 

A conversation between a La Crosse County Sheriff's sergeant and Todd Kendhammer was played for the jury Wednesday afternoon. 

It took place in a squad car as Sgt. Mark Yehle and Kendhammer were headed to La Crosse to the hospital to see Barbara Kendhammer. 

Yehle and Kendhammer discuss the details of the accident and how the pipe came through the windshield of the Kendhammer vehicle as it traveled down County M on September 16. 

During his testimony, Yehle said he called Kendhammer a few days after the accident to have him come to the sheriff's office to answer more questions. He said he told Kendhammer that there was video Yehle wanted him to look at to help identify the truck that the pipe fell from. Yehle testified he did disguised it that way because in his experience, people in question either refuse to show up or not talk to authorities if they know the real reason why they're being called in. 

Testimony about the extent of the injuries to Barbara Kendhammer and what may have caused them began the third day of the Todd Kendhammer homicide trial in La Crosse. 

Testimony began Wednesday morning with pathologist Dr. Kathleen McCubbin, who did the autopsy on Barbara Kendhammer after her death. 

When asked about the cause of death, Dr. McCubbin told the jury that it was 'blunt impact injuries of her head and neck."

She then described, using a large diagram, the extent of the injuries she found on Kendhammer. They included a skull fracture found on the left side of the back of Barbara Kendhammer's head.

At one point, Dr. McCubbin she testified that she found no evidence of the end of a pipe or curved object striking Barbara's head, neck, and face. During cross-examination defense attorney Stephen Hurley countered that some of the scrapes and bruising could have come from Todd Kendhammer removing his wife from their car.

Hurley is also arguing that shards of glass could have been pressed into Barbara's neck when first responders placed a C-collar on her at the scene. Dr. McCubbin replied that that type of collar doesn't fit that tightly. She also referenced a statement by a first responder that no glass shards were found on her neck.

On a follow up from prosecutors, Dr. McCubbin said that if Barbara was hit with a pipe there would have been "much more devastating injuries" and more significant fractures found. She also said the multitude of injuries, lack of imprints of a pipe, and the neck injuries were inconsistent with the theory of a pipe coming through the windshield and striking Barbara Kendhammer.

Prosecutors contend that Todd Kendhammer attacked his wife, then staged a car accident to cover it up.

We'll be updating this story throughout the day.


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