Was possible injury to a woman’s body the result of murder, an accident, or other acts?
This is an important question in the case of Todd Kendhammer, who is appealing a murder conviction over the death of his wife Barbara.
At an appeal hearing on Tuesday in La Crosse, Illinois, pathologist Dr. Shaku Teas skeptical of the autopsy results used in Kendhammer’s 2017 trial.
Teas says bruises and other obvious injuries could have been caused by attempts to save Barbara’s life or organ donation procedures.
“I would definitely have educated (jurors) about CPR and organ donation and the artifacts they cause,” she said.
Teas says finding Todd’s DNA on Barbara’s body would not prove the allegation that he physically assaulted her.
“When you’re dealing with a spouse, the value isn’t there,” Teas said, “and so sometimes we just do it to please a police officer or the law enforcement agency.”
Appeals attorneys also provided testimony of faulty memory, which challenged the testimony, such as a witness’s claim that he saw the Kendhammer car with no damage to the windshield, which was allegedly hit by the pipe. The argument is that the witness may have been distracted by the sight of an open car door and not really notice the windshield.
The testimony of the appeal hearing before Judge Todd Bjerke is due to be completed on Wednesday.