State, defense rest in day 8 of Todd Kendhammer trial
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The high profile murder trial of Todd Kendhammer moved into its eighth day, with the defense calling family and friends to the stand. The defense was looking for answers to two main questions: what was Todd and Barbara Kendhammer’s relationship like, and how did Todd seem at the hospital after the alleged pipe incident.
However, one of the final witnesses of the day, Jared Loging, disputed one of the key claims made by Todd Kendhammer.
Kendhammer initially said that he was on County Highway M during the day of the alleged car accident, because he was going to see Justin Heim, another acquaintance, who needed a new windshield. When Heim disputed those claims, Kendhammer then said it was Loging, who lives on County Highway M, who needed it.
When Loging took the stand, he testified that he needed a new windshield for his truck in 2014 but had already had that fixed. He said that he never told anyone, including Todd Kendhammer, that he needed a new one.
Other witnesses brought forth by the defense included Tina McCoy, who had been friends with Barbara for over 30 years. During her testimony, McCoy said she never saw any signs of abuse during their regular walks together. She also testified that when she saw Todd at the hospital that he seemed distraught and devastated.
Michael Servais, Todd Kendhammer’s son-in-law, was questioned about messages sent prior to the incident about fixing a well pump at the home of Barbara’s mom. He tried to get a hold of Todd on the day of the crash but was unable to. After some time had passed, Servais said he began to get concerned.
David Adams, Barbara Kendhammer’s older brother, was called by the defense. He collaborated prior testimony that Barbara was always very tidy and that the house was “meticulously clean.” Adams said that his sister and her husband had a, “very, very good relationship. Always very good to one another.”
When the prosecution began to question him, he at first agreed that it was odd that Todd didn’t stop on County Highway M after the pipe came through the windshield as described. However, he then stated that he didn’t know what was going through Todd’s mind at the time.
Other witnesses from the family included Russell Hicks, Todd’s first cousin, who said that he went to the Kendhammer home after Barbara passed away. He saw that the keys were still in the ignition of the Tahoe parked on their property and the connected camper’s door was left open. Hicks said it seemed that the camper was prepped for the weekend at the Warrens Cranberry Festival, which the Kendhammers planned on attending.
Both attorneys for the state and defense questions Capt. John Zimmerman from the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department, who testified about the evidence seized during a search of the Kendhammer residence.
After a lunch break, Shavon Caygill, a criminal paralegal, testified about cellphone records between Barbara and Todd Kendhammer. There had been previous questions about why Barbara did not call her mom in the morning as she normally did. However, Caygill testified that there were multiple times when Barbara didn’t call her.
Caygill also explained that she watched video that was aimed towards the stretch of County Highway M that would have shown Todd’s car that day. However, due to the resolution quality of the video, she was not able to definitively say which was their car or the flatbed truck that Todd described.
When the defense rested its case, the state called on Jared Loging and Justin Heim to clarify parts of their testimonies. Heim explained that he received a call from Jordan Kendhammer, the son of Barbara and Todd, after the car incident. However, there was no voicemail and when he tried to call back there was no answer.
The state then rested its case as well. While jurors were excused for a break, Judge Todd Bjerke finalized the juror instructions and verdict form with attorneys for the prosecution and defense.
Jurors were then given the instructions for deliberations ahead of tomorrow’s closing arguments.
Here are the Facebook Livestreams from today’s day in court:
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