Life sentence for Brittany Zimmermann’s accused killer
FOR HUB CITY TIMES
MADISON – Nearly fifteen years after her death, the accused killer of Marshfield’s Brittany Zimmermann has reached a plea deal with prosecutors which – for now – puts him behind bars for the rest of his life, and avoids a jury trial scheduled for January, 2023.
David Kahl was officially convicted of first-degree intentional homicide Oct. 27 in Dane County Circuit Court, after which Judge Chris Taylor immediately issued the state’s mandatory life sentence. A Jan. 12, 2023 sentencing hearing will determine if Kahl is given parole after twenty years in prison, which prosecutors offered as part of the plea agreement.
Prior to sentencing, family members were afforded the opportunity to give victim impact statements. Brittany’s aunt, Kimberly Heeg, said, “We as a family have had nothing but torture for 14 years while he did his soul searching to decide to come clean.” Heeg also said the family wants no chance for parole for Kahl, who in July of 2021 had pleaded not guilty in connection with Zimmermann’s death.
According to the criminal complaint, Kahl was going door-to-door on April 2, 2008, asking for money. A timeline pieced together by investigators places Kahl at Zimmermann’s Madison apartment around the time of her death. Furthermore, an analysis of DNA found on Brittany’s shirt at the crime scene matched Kahl’s. He was not arrested in connection with her death until March of 2020.
Zimmermann, 21, was studying microbiology and immunology at UW-Madison at the time of her death.
The annual Paws for Brittany Fun Run/Dog Walk is held each year at Wildwood Park & Zoo in Brittany’s memory, and serves as a fundraiser for the Marshfield Area Pet Shelter. “We have chosen MAPS to keep Brittany’s memory alive because animals were such a huge part of her life,” said her mother Jean Zimmermann, in a past Paws for Brittany news release. “She supported many shelters herself, so it made perfect sense for us to continue this.”