Kendhammer attorneys could appeal, request new trial

More than nine hours after jurors began their deliberations, a guilty verdict was handed down in the trial of Todd Kendhammer. Prosecutors for the state claimed that Kendhammer killed his wife and then staged a freak car accident to cover it up.

While jurors returned with a guilty verdict for the charge of first degree intentional homicide, the defense is still left with two options– both of which would take quite some time to set in motion.

Even when there is a guilty verdict in any criminal case, it can be a while before the case is truly closed.

“The case itself isn’t really over until all lines of appellate review or even habeas review have concluded,” said Cheryl Gill, a partner at Johns, Flaherty & Collins.

Gill, who is not involved in this case, says lawyers for the defense in any criminal case could ask for a new trial based on several criteria.

A new trial could be sought based on claims “that there were errors committed during the trial or that there was a problem with the sufficiency of the evidence,” Gill said.

Defense attorneys could also argue that a new trial is needed in the interest of justice or that there is new evidence that could not have been found previously.

“You have to show that the evidence came to you after the trial,” Gill said.

Another option is to file an appeal. First, the defense would file a notice of post conviction release, then the court reporters have to type up the trial transcript. Attorneys would have 60 days to make the appeal.

“But that doesn’t include then all the briefing time that they have to get this done,” Gill said.

Another part of the process for both the defense and state would be to try for an early release. The La Cross County District Attorney’s Office says this is something they would consider.

“We will. But we’ll look at the pre-sentence report first before making any decisions about it. But we will have a sentencing argument to make when it’s the appropriate time,” said Tim Gruenke, district attorney for La Crosse County.

It is unclear if lawyers for Todd Kendhammer plan on seeking a new trial or plan on appealing. News 8 reached out to his attorneys but did not receive a response.

A sentencing hearing has been schedule for March 9. Kendhammer could face a life sentence.