The second week of the Todd Kendhammer began with news that he would take the stand in his defense on homicide charges in the death of his wife last September.
During some motions prior to the start of the trial Monday morning, his defense attorneys gave Judge Todd Bjerke a rundown of who they were planning on calling to testify. One of those that attorney Jonas Bednarek said was Todd Kendhammer. It hadn't been clear prior to Monday if Kendhammer would take the witness stand and submit to questions.
Bednarek said Monday morning that Kendhammer would testify following defense experts telling the jury about glass evidence and bio-mechanics. However, due to the length of the testimony, which lasted until mid-afternoon, from the two experts, court was adjourned early on Monday.
Kendhammer will now testify starting Tuesday morning when court resumes at 8:30 a.m.
During Monday's testimony, a defense expert said there were three different events that damaged the windshield on the vehicle both Kendhammers were riding in on September 16, 2016.
Mark Meshulam said the first impact came from Todd Kendhammer's hand hitting the windshield. The second impact was from the pipe going through the windshield, while the third was the prying action when the pipe was removed.
He then detailed for the jury the angle and fracture patterns according to a report he wrote on his research into the windshield. Meshulam also testified that the small amount of glass particles found on the passenger seat would be consistent with the type of fracture on the windshield.
Kendhammer contends that a pipe fell from a passing truck and impaled the vehicle and struck Barbara Kendhammer.
During cross examination, District Attorney Tim Gruenke got Meshulam to admit that the damage to the windshield could have happened when the pipe was pushed and pulled through the windshield.
Prosecutors argue that Kendhammer killed his wife and staged the scene.
The afternoon session started with Dr. Barry Bates testifying about bio-mechanics.
He gave his opinion to the jury about how Barbara Kendhammer died on September 16, 2016. He compiled a report for the defense that detailed the types of injuries that occurred to Barbara and if they were possible according to the way Todd Kendhammer described them.
He stated that it was possible that Barbara Kendhammer, while sitting in the passenger seat, ducked down and to her right as the pipe came through the windshield. With her head turned, the injuries to the back of her head could have happened according to Bates. He earlier said that all the injuries could not have come from the pipe, but other things that followed including efforts to save Kendhammer's life according to Bates' testimony.
He also testified that Barbara's nasal fracture is the result of her head being pushed down into the dashboard or hitting the Bubba cup before hitting the dashboard.
During cross examination by District Attorney Tim Gruenke, Bates admitted two things to contradict his earlier testimony.
The major point made during the questioning was that he didn't believe that the pipe fell off of the truck.
Bates told jurors that in his report, it was possible that Barbara Kendhammer was strangled. Bates said it would be difficult, but possible.
He also was asked, and said he didn't deal with, about some of the neck injuries to Barb.
We'll be providing live stream coverage of the trial on wxow.com/live and on our mobile app. We'll have a recap of the each day's events on Live at Five, the 6 pm, and 10 pm Reports.
The second week of the Todd Kendhammer homicide trial began with the prosecution resting its case.
After La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke did that, Kendhammer's attorneys asked Judge Todd Bjerke for a verdict in favor of Kendhammer.
His attorneys argued that the state never said how Kendhammer committed the crime. Gruenke argued that given the evidence, the jury could infer that Kendhammer killed his wife.
Judge Todd Bjerke ruled that the evidence showed that the jury could find Kendhammer guilty of first degree intentional homicide in the death of his wife Barbara and denied the defense motion.