UPDATE (2:29 pm.) — Jurors in La Crosse County are deciding the fate of a man accused of fatally beating his wife and trying to conceal her death by staging a car accident.
Todd Kendhammer’s attorney, Stephen Hurley, told jurors in closing arguments Thursday the evidence does not support the prosecution’s contention that his client caused fatal injuries to his wife, Barbara. Hurley also said there’s no motive in her death and that no one ever saw the couple argue in 25 years of marriage.
La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke told jurors Kendhammer lied repeatedly about the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death and that he lost control and fatally beat his wife for a reason he has not explained.
Kendhammer told investigators his wife was killed when a pipe from a passing truck flew through their vehicle’s windshield.
LA CROSSE, Wis. — Closing arguments are set in a trial for a western Wisconsin man accused of fatally beating his wife and trying to conceal her death by staging a car accident.
The defense called family and friends to the stand on the eighth day of the trial for Todd Kendhammer in La Crosse County Wednesday. He’s charged in the September 2016 death of Barbara Kendhammer.
Court documents allege that Kendhammer told investigators he and his wife were in a car when a pipe fell from a flatbed truck and struck his wife. But a medical examiner said the woman had extensive blunt-impact injuries on her head and neck that were inconsistent with such an accident.
According to the La Crosse Tribune: During three hours of testimony this week, Kendhammer stood by his account of the events of the morning of Sept. 16, 2016. Kendhammer testified that his wife was grievously injured after an airborne pipe pierced the windshield of the couple’s car as he drove down a rural highway in the town of Hamilton. She died the next day.
Prosecutors contend Kendhammer inflicted Barb’s fatal injuries and drove the pipe through the window to disguise the cause of her death. The West Salem man’s 10-day trial for first-degree intentional homicide in La Crosse County Circuit Court is in its second week.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday.