The West Salem man, convicted for the 2016 murder of his wife, wants a new trial

An attorney for Todd Kendhammer filed a motion for post-conviction relief

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The West Salem man, convicted for the 2016 murder of his wife, wants a new trial  An attorney for Todd Kendhammer filed a motion for post-conviction relief. 

The 228 page document, filed in La Crosse County, asks the court to vacate Kendhammer’s conviction and sentencing.  The now 50-year old is serving a life sentence with the possibility of release after 30 year for the homicide of his wife Barbara. 

In September of 2016, prosecutors says Kendhammer beat his wife of 25 years tdeath, and then tried to cover up her murder by staging a freak car accident.  Kendhammer maintained his innocence throughout his trial and after.  The motion, filed by Kendhammer’s new attorney, makes four arguments. First, that the West Salem man was denied his rights to due process and an impartial jury, when the court made a determination on its own, that it needed an anonymous jury.  The second argument claims Kendhammer was denied his presumption of innocence when trial spectators were forced to sit evenly on the prosecution and defense sides of the courtroom.  The third argues Kendhammer was denied the effective assistance of counsel for a number of reasons, including his trial attorney’s failure to present testimony from an expert that would have support Kendhammer’s claim that a pipe flew through his windshield, killing his wife. The fourth and final argument claims prosecutors did not share Sheriff’s Department interviews and records that would have placed trucks, carrying metal, on the road at the time Kendhammer says the accident took place. 

In a statement to News 8 Now, Kendhammer’s new attorney Jerry Buting writes “Todd Kendhammer is an innocent man. His beloved wife Barbara died as a result of a tragic accident, not a homicide. Unfortunately, the jury did not get to hear the evidence that would demonstrate this. We have a motion to correct this miscarriage of justice. We are confident that when all the evidence is heard, a new trial will be ordered.” 

La Crosse District Attorney Tim Gruenke wouldn’t comment on Kendhammer’s claim, but says he plans to file a response.  The court has not set a deadline, but Gruenke expects one soon. 

Todd Kendhammer remains behind bars at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupon. 

Read the full motion here