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Todd Kendhammer’s new attorney believes he was wrongly convicted and vowed to work expeditiously on his appeal.

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Todd Kendhammer mug

Kendhammer 

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Jerome Buting

Buting

“Ultimately, we will try to get his conviction reversed and see that justice is served here,” attorney Jerome Buting said.

Buting, of Brookfield, Wis., is one of two trial attorneys who defended Steven Avery, the subject of the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer.” A jury convicted Avery and his nephew of killing Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer, at the family’s auto salvage yard in Manitowoc County in 2005, two years after Avery’s release from prison for a rape that he didn’t commit.

Prosecutors charged Kendhammer, who was found guilty in his wife’s 2016 beating death, based on circumstantial and weak evidence, Buting said. He did not know when he would file the appeal or disclose what issues he would raise in it but called pre-trial coverage prejudicial and negative.

“I think an innocent man has been convicted,” he said. “There’s no motive. There is no reason whatsoever for him to suddenly kill his wife and stage this whole thing.”

Early Sept. 16, 2016, Kendhammer killed Barbara, his wife of 25 years, and then tried to cover her murder by staging a freak car accident that couldn’t have happened.

Kendhammer, 48, of West Salem, claimed the couple was driving north on Hwy. M in the town of Hamilton when what he thought was a bird but determined was a 10-pound galvanized steel pipe rolled from an oncoming flatbed truck. He claimed he lunged forward and punched the window with one or both of his fists trying to deflect the pipe before it impaled the passenger side of his windshield and struck his wife.

Physics, experts testified, won’t allow a 10-pound pipe to sail horizontally 10 feet from an oncoming vehicle.

Kendhammer said he was driving to pick up a truck owned in turn by Justin Heim, then later Ben Pfaff and finally Jarrod Loging to repair a windshield at the same time his consistently punctual wife was supposed to be at work at West Salem Middle School.

All three men testified during the trial, telling jurors they had no arrangements to meet Kendhammer that day.

A passerby on Bergum Coulee Road, where Kendhammer stopped the car 200 yards from where the pipe was supposed to have hit his car, testified he saw the couple’s Toyota Camry in the ditch, its windshield intact, in the minutes before authorities believe Kendhammer took a 10-pound pipe from the trunk and drove it through the windshield.

Barbara suffered three bone-deep cuts on the back of her head, among a host of other injuries.

A jury found Kendhammer guilty of first-degree intentional homicide after nine hours of deliberations and a nine-day trial in December. He is serving a life sentence, but can petition for release in 30 years.


Anne Jungen can be reached at ajungen@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @LCTCrimeCourts.

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Police and courts reporter

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at ajungen@lacrossetribune.com or 608-791-8224.

(8) comments

bartleybigears

There was a mountain of evidence against him and now he wants to bring in an attorney to try to reverse everything. Yeah good luck with that.

BichonFrise

Give it rest Todd.....you did this and you know it. Rot in prison!!!

Buggs Raplin

"Making a Murderer" was a bullsh*t documentary. Avery killed Teresa Halbach, and then burned her body. His nephew was a witness. Let them both rot in jail forever. Same with Todd Kendhammer.

Uncle Harry

Let me get this straight, the King of all things conspiracy believes the cops got it right with Steven Avery.... I'm shocked! I mean Avery clearly did it, but usually you have some far out radical conspiracy theory.... Seriously where did Fun Buggs go?

Buggs Raplin

I'm over at Cassie's eating cheeseburgers with her.

Cassandra2

Once again the pathetic loser Chip DeNure claims to know more than people who have actually studied a subject. Because facts and reality don't matter to someone who is a paranoiac.

Buggs Raplin

I've studied the subject. Have you?

Cassandra2

I didn't realize Alex Jones was covering these cases, Chippy.

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