Man accused of killing UW Madison student pleads not guilty

First degree homicide charges have been filed against David A. Kahl (right) in the 2008 killing...
First degree homicide charges have been filed against David A. Kahl (right) in the 2008 killing of Brittany Zimmermann.(NBC15)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A man charged with killing a University of Wisconsin-Madison student in 2008 pleaded not guilty on Monday in court.

David A. Kahl is accused of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 21-year-old Brittany Zimmermann, who investigators say was stabbed and strangled. The 21-year-old from Marshfield was studying Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the time.

According to court documents, a pre-trial conference for Kahl will be held at 2:30 p.m. November 15.

In the criminal complaint, detectives say Kahl, who lived about a mile from Zimmermann’s apartment on the 500 block of Doty Street, was panhandling for money on April 2, 2008. They said he made a loop, approaching four different people over the course of 50 minutes.

The complaint states that as Kahl walked down Wilson Street, Bedford, and finally Doty Street, asking people for $40. Police say the timeline puts him at Zimmermann’s apartment at the time of her murder.

Detectives say they brought him in for questioning that day, and say he told them he asked people for money to buy crack. The complaint states he admitted to being high that day. Detectives also noticed he had small cuts on his hand. A few days later, police say Kahl told them he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia a few years prior and was off his medications.

In 2018, analysts matched Kahl’s DNA with evidence from Zimmermann’s shirt. Police announced David Kahl’s arrest in early 2020 after DNA evidence linked him to the crime.

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