Kendhammer Trial Day 5: Analyst: Windshield damaged before pipe - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Kendhammer Trial Day 5: Analyst: Windshield damaged before pipe went through

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Kevin Scott Kevin Scott
Nick Stahlke Nick Stahlke

A crime lab analyst testifying about damage to the windshield of Todd and Barbara Kendhammer's vehicle said that there was impact from the pipe prior to the blow that put the pipe through the windshield.

Nick Stahlke of the Wisconsin State Crime Lab made that conclusion Friday afternoon in the homicide trial of Todd Kendhammer.

He made that conclusion based on the way the damage radiated out from the impact point. The first impact caused a damage pattern to radiate out in one way. A subsequent impact would radiate in another way. Because the second damage pattern couldn't have gone around the hole, Stahlke concluded that there was one impact before the impact that made the hole in the windshield.

In some of his other testimony, Stahlke took jurors through a series of photos of the vehicle and where evidence was collected. He said glass and blood was found inside the vehicle.

During questioning by District Attorney Tim Gruenke, Stahlke said that he believed that no one was in the passenger seat when glass and other materials were deposited into the Kendhammer vehicle. He also said that he believes the passenger door was open when the materials were deposited in the car. He said he didn't find any glass or sand inside the passenger side map pocket in the door of the vehicle.

There was also no blood on the headrest or the backrest of the passenger seat.

He described the some of the stains on the seat were transfer stains that indicated some motion when they were deposited on the seat.

He did testify that windshield glass is pliable. He said it was possible a two inch pipe could fit through a hole that is only an inch and a half in diameter. 

On cross-examination, defense attorney Stephen Hurley questioned Stahlke's experience in glass analysis. Stahlke said he took a three week workshop on fractures, but that they included not only glass, but anything that could fracture.

Following Stahlke's testimony, the jury was excused for the weekend. Prior to adjourning, District Attorney Tim Gruenke said that the prosecution plans to rest its case Monday morning. After some motions brought by the defense, Kendhammer's lawyers will start laying out their case. 

We'll have live coverage beginning Monday morning of the trial. For a recap of each day's testimony, you can watch Live at Five, the 6pm, and 10pm Reports. 


The fifth day of the Todd Kendhammer homicide trial is underway.

First on the witness stand was Trooper Michael Marquardt with the Wisconsin State Patrol. 

He testified about accident reconstruction and his investigation with the case. 

Next to testify was Kevin Scott, a DNA analyst with the Wisconsin Crime Lab. He told the jury about fingernail clippings taken from Barb Kendhammer. His analysis showed that there was blood on both of her hands. 

A number of samples tested by Scott contained a mix of DNA from both Barbara and Todd Kendhammer. The samples came from the vehicle the couple was in when Todd Kendhammer said a pipe came through the windshield and struck Barbara. Some contained a mix of DNA while others were inconclusive. 

Testing on the pipe according to Scott showed there was a significant amount of Barbara Kendhammer's DNA on the pipe along with an amount of DNA from Todd Kendhammer. 

District Attorney Tim Gruenke had Scott also go over primary and secondary transfer of a person's DNA. 

During cross-examination, defense attorney Stephen Hurley got Scott to admit that samples of fingernails from one hand and therefore could have transferred DNA from one sample to another. 

Hurley questioned Scott at length about how and where swabs for DNA were taken on the pipe taken into evidence from the scene of the September 16 crash. 

Hurley also questioned him on the minimum number of genetic markers used to make a statistical analysis. Scott had said they were looking for 15 different markers, so five would be the minimum number. The brief answer wrapped up Scott's testimony early Friday afternoon.


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