Kendhammer Trial Day 8: A 'perfect' relationship - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Kendhammer Trial Day 8: A 'perfect' relationship

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Todd Kendhammer prepares for trial on Wednesday December 13. Todd Kendhammer prepares for trial on Wednesday December 13.
Jordan Kendhammer Jordan Kendhammer
Jessica Servais Jessica Servais

The defense continues its case in the Todd Kendhammer homicide trial Wednesday by portraying him as a caring family man. 

Family and friends of the couple spent Wednesday morning about the pair.

The day began with a brief cross-examination of Jordan Kendhammer, Todd and Barbara's son. 

Jordan testified Tuesday about the couple and their family life.

District Attorney Tim Gruenke asked a few questions about conversations he had with his father the day before the accident and whether they discussed a windshield in the garage of the home. They did, but briefly, according to Jordan. 

On re-direct, Jordan said everything seemed normal that evening and the following morning. 

Next to testify was Tina McCoy, who was Barbara Kendhammer's best friend. When questioned, she said she Barb never complained about Todd or anything that he did. She also testified that she never saw any visible injuries on Barbara when they would get together. 

Michael Servais, Todd and Barbara's son-in-law, described the couple's relationship as 'Perfect'. He testified that he and Todd did a lot together-shopping, dinner, remodeling homes and spending time with their grandchild. "He was caring, very nice, and taught me a lot," said Servais.

When asked at one point several questions by defense attorney Jonas Bednarek about the couple, if they ever fought, argued, or raised their voices to each other, Servais replied every time with "No".

Barb's brother, David Adams, testified that 'their relationship was very, very good. Todd has been wonderful to all of us. Couldn't say anything better about him." 

He described Todd as a 'frazzled mess' when Adams got to the hospital following the accident. He said Todd broke down when he came out of her hospital room and said nothing could be done to save her. 

Russell Hicks, Todd's cousin, also testified about how Todd and Barb had a close relationship. Towards the end of his testimony, he said he asked Todd about why he was headed north with Barb the morning of the accident. He said Todd told him that he was going to replace a windshield.

The final witness of the morning, Captain John Zimmerman of the La Crosse County Sheriff's Office, detailed for the jury the results of search warrants served in the case. Zimmerman said a number of items were taken from the road including a sink plug, hammer, bills, and life insurance policies. 

Items recovered from the accident scene and vehicle were submitted to the FBI for testing. Zimmerman said the pipe, debris from the windshield and the trunk were tested as part of the investigation. 

Zimmerman also testified that investigators did not search Barbara Thompson's property following Barbara Kendhammer's death. Todd testified Wednesday that they stopped there the morning of the accident to check on the garage door. 

Following testimony from the defense team's paralegal regarding text and phone messages made by the Kendhammers, Todd and Barbara's daughter Jessica Servais testified. She made similar comments to what her brother and other family members said in earlier testimony-she said at one point her childhood was "loving". Defense attorney Jonas Bednarek also asked a series of questions that went through the events on the day of the accident. 

She said 'he was shaking....shocked' when she saw him at the hospital when she got there. She became emotional when describing what happened at the hospital as her mother passed away. 

At the end of her testimony, when asked to describe her parent's relationship, she said, "Absolutely perfect. I modeled my marriage after theirs."

It was at this point that the defense rested its case. 

On rebuttal, the first witness called was Jared Loging. He was brought in to counter Todd Kendhammer's alibi that he was going to go get a pickup truck on September 16 to replace the windshield. Loging denied needing a windshield replaced and stated he never told his brothers about needing windshield repair. 

Todd Kendhammer said he was told during a discussion with co-workers at Crown Cork and Seal that a windshield needed replacing on a friend's truck. 

Loging concluded his testimony by answering a juror question that he never left the keys to his truck inside the truck. One of the other parts of Kendhammer's alibi claimed that he was going with Barb to pick up the truck and that the keys were inside the truck. 

The final rebuttal witness, Justin Heim, told jurors that he missed a call from Jordan Kendhammer's phone the morning Todd Kendhammer was called in to the sheriff's office for questioning. Todd Kendhammer had Jordan's phone on that day according to earlier testimony. 

Following the close of testimony, prosecutors, the defense, and Judge Todd Bjerke went over what instructions will be given to the jury.

Part of those instructions will come Wednesday. That will end court for the day.

On Thursday, court will begin at 8:30 a.m. with both sides presenting their closing arguments. Judge Bjerke will then give final instructions to jurors. 

Then deliberations on the guilt or innocence of Todd Kendhammer begins. 

MORE: Todd Kendhammer Trial Coverage

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