There is a lot to this case, but clearly the most important aspect of the case that can’t be dismissed is the fact that David Camm had an airtight alibi. At the time of the murders, he was playing basketball with family and friends at a nearby church. He arrived at the church at 6:59 PM and remained there until 9:22 PM and this was verified. Eleven people saw him and interacted with him the entire time in question. Most of these people knew him well and they were 100% certain that David was there the entire time. So how were jurors able to dismiss this and how were prosecutors able to address this?
From the FAQ section of the website:
Several players were, in fact, relatives of David, including two cousins and his uncle. Others included the husband of his cousin, as well as friends and players with whom he had played previously. One person accompanied his brother to the game and it was his first ball game that he played with David. Their brother was a local police officer.
During the initial telephone interviews of the players by the ISP, their words were accepted without question. Not one player has ever stated or inferred that David Camm left the church gym that evening. The fact that he sat out one game so his uncle, Sam Lockhart, could play is also without question. However, he sat along the baseline with a church elder and they talked. He sat at the end of the court where the other ten players saw him as they would run towards that basket. Near the end of that game, David got up and began stretching in order to play again.
During the time of the prosecution’s first theory that David had murdered his family after he returned home, the basketball players weren’t important to the prosecution. It was only after the forensic evidence indicated that it was impossible for the murders to have occurred after 9:22PM (the time that the church alarm was set and David left the gym) did the basketball players become critical.
Indeed, during David’s last interrogation before he was arrested on October 1, 2000, Detective Neal told David that the basketball players are “not trying to hide anything.”
The prosecution’s subsequent theories that the family was killed after they returned home and before David came home around 9:27PM meant that the basketball player’s credibility had to be attacked. Although the players had never changed their stories, nonetheless they were painted as either lying or mistaken because the prosecution had to “get David out of the gym” in order to kill his family.
All of the basketball players vehemently deny that they have lied or shaded the truth for David Camm. As one said, “David was at the gym for the entire time I was there. He didn’t leave, nor did he come back. I wouldn’t lie for him or anyone.” The other players expressed very similar comments and have told their stories repeatedly and under oath several times.
The basketball players were honest and not mistaken on October 1, 2000 but were liars and mistaken only after the prosecution changed their theory as to when the family was murdered. They have never been inconsistent but rather any inconsistencies lie with the prosecution.
It is indeed ironic that ten basketball players (with one additional spectator) who were present with David Camm during the entire evening of September 28, 2000 are considered liars or mistaken but yet the eight other basketball players who supposedly played with Boney and David have never been identified nor come forward. The police and prosecution chose to embrace Boney’s fictitious story without any corroboration and cast aside the stories of eleven solid citizens but only after their theory changed.
During the trials, the prosecution tried to discredit the eyewitnesses by picking apart their testimony about details of the game. They had to. With the inability to discredit these people, their theory holds no weight and the case falls apart.
A snippet from the 2nd trial:
Three of the 10 men who say they were playing basketball with Camm at the time of the murders testified Wednesday that they don’t believe it was possible for him to leave the gym for more than a couple minutes without being noticed.
Prosecutors allege Camm planned to commit the murders during the weekly game in order to establish an alibi, believing he could sneak out, drive 5 minutes to his home, shoot his family and return without anyone noticing his absence.
Steve Owen, Floyd County’s chief deputy prosecutor, grilled players about the specifics of that night — who was on the teams during each game, who scored first, who guarded who, how many games were played. (Seriously? Keep in mind, this was 6 years later. It is sad the jurors were influenced by questions such as this.)
Their varying answers to those questions show how difficult it was for them to remember specifics of the evening, including where Camm was during each game, Owen said.
The nature of pickup basketball games — unorganized games without time limits, referees and with few rules — would make it impossible for Camm to plan an exact time to commit the murders, defense attorney Katharine “Kitty” Liell said.
What happened in this case is that prosecutors convinced the jury that the blood spatter evidence was stronger than the statements of 11 eyewitnesses. They presented the evidence in such a way that it appeared to be an irrefutable fact, but that wasn’t accurate. Contrary to some claims, blood spatter analysis is not a real science. Studies have shown that it is not a reliable method of determining what happens at a crime scene. That is why it’s common to see expert witnesses offering completely different opinions on this type of evidence. Please watch the video at this link to see how much the opinions differed in this particular case. I believe when that is the case, you have to look beyond this evidence.
In cases like this where stronger, more compelling evidence exists, it logically should take precedence over the subjective, weaker evidence. There is no doubt that the 11 eyewitness accounts should have overridden the blood evidence in this case. Blood spatter evidence is different than something like DNA evidence which can’t be refuted… there won’t be opposing expert witnesses offering different opinions about DNA evidence. It’s black and white. It either matches or it doesn’t. Period. That is just not the case with blood spatter evidence.
For the reasons described, this case is more complicated than most realize and clearly some of the evidence that convicted Camm is very questionable. What remains consistent is the testimony of the people who were with David Camm the night of the tragic murders.
With a 3rd trial approaching, I hope that people will not simply assume that Camm must be guilty because he was convicted twice. It is time for people to take a careful look at everything about this case. And remember that both convictions were overturned with good reason and that Camm has yet to receive a fair trial. I hope this one will be different and people will see the truth.
One final thought about the alibi. It is extremely unlikely that 11 people would carry a lie all these years on their conscience. They had no reason to lie and we have no reason to doubt them.