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Thursday - March 8, 2018 10:31 am

Judge Bjerke will not recuse himself for Kendhammer sentencing

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Todd and Barb Kendhammer Todd and Barb Kendhammer

Bjerke says he will sentence West Salem man Friday morning as planned

Request for recusal, denied. 

La Crosse County Judge Todd Bjerke says lawyers for convicted murderer Todd Kendhammer have not given "any articulable reason" for him to withdraw from the sentencing hearing tomorrow. 

The defense asked this week for Bjerke to recuse himself, claiming media coverage of the case was biased against Kendhammer, and that the judge was being too helpful to reporters. 

Bjerke has issued a four-page response, saying attorneys occasionally failed to use microphones, and sometimes blocked the judge's view of the jury. 

That jury convicted Kendhammer in December of causing the 2016 death of his wife Barb, which he claims resulted from a freak highway accident involving a pipe smashing a car windshield. 

Answering charges that he was too accommodating to media covering the case, Bjerke says there was much public interest in the trial. 

He says he had microphones and furniture placed to help courtroom spectators and on-line viewers see and hear what was going on, saying media coverage "assured that the Defendant would be accorded a fair and public trial." 


Last modified on Thursday - March 8, 2018 10:47 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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