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Murder Defendant Todd Kendhammer Admits Confusion About Trip On Day Of Wife’s Death


A defendant accused of killing his wife in western Wisconsin and of disguising the crime as a freak pipe-through-the-windshield car accident has taken the stand in his own defense and has partially changed his version of events the day his wife died. The defendant, Todd Kendhammer, is accused of first-degree intentional homicide in relation to the death of his 46-year-old wife, Barbara Kendhammer.

At various points in his career, Kendhammer worked for a glass replacement firm. Kendhammer had a spare windshield he wanted to get rid of, so he told investigators early in their investigation into wife Barbara Kendhammer’s death that he was going to check out a vehicle for a man named Justin Heim, whom he heard needed a new windshield through a co-worker, Ben Pfaff, who was a mutual acquaintance.

Heim testified that he did not plan to replace a broken windshield on a vehicle he owned and that he did not expect Kendhammer to be visiting him on September 16, the date Kendhammer said he was driving with his wife to visit Heim.

Kendhammer’s defense attorney reminded him that in other statements to authorities, he said he was going to Holmen, Wisconsin, to check out a blue Ford pickup truck around Shefelbine Hill.

Kendhammer testified that he was out of it during the recorded police interview and that was the reason for his mistake.  “When I watch those tapes and I watch that video, that’s not me. I wasn’t thinking about where I was going or what I was doing. I was thinking of Barb,” he testified. That is his explanation for bringing Heim and Pfaff into the equation.

The state’s medical examiner testified that the injuries Barbara Kendhammer suffered could not, in her opinion, have been caused by a pipe striking and penetrating a windshield. Defense expert Dr. Barry Bates, a professor who specializes in biomechanics, said all of the victim’s major injuries were caused by the pipe and the resulting forces on the body and said he directly disagreed with the medical examiner’s opinion of what happened.

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Aaron Keller is an attorney licensed in two states. He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. During law school, he completed legal residencies in the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and in a local prosecutor’s office. He was employed as a summer associate in the New Hampshire Department of Safety, which manages the state police, and further served as a summer law clerk for a New York trial judge. Before law school, Keller worked for television stations in New York and in the Midwest, mostly as an evening news anchor and investigative reporter. His original reporting on the Wisconsin murder of Teresa Halbach was years later featured in the Netflix film "Making A Murderer."