David Camm’s Acquittal And Reflections On The Trial

freedom2Those of us who advocate for the wrongfully convicted are used to disappointments – unfair rulings, biased judges, biased media sources, corrupt prosecutors, corrupt police and on and on.  There are so many things that contribute to wrongful convictions and the fight to right this wrong is difficult with far too many obstacles along the way.  Every once in a while we receive some good news – a successful appeal ruling, a new trial or the ultimate goal – an exoneration for the people we know to be innocent.  That rare “win” occurred last week in Indiana.  David Camm was finally acquitted.  Wrongfully accused of the murder of his wife and two children thirteen long years ago, it’s been a tough fight to freedom with many twists along the way but in the end truth and justice prevailed.

I came across this case about two years ago and was drawn to it after reading the case history.  It was obvious that the State of Indiana had a very weak case against Camm and he had a solid alibi that could not be dismissed no matter how hard the State tried to minimize it.

Though I was unable to watch any of this third trial, I did follow it closely.  I would like to summarize some of my thoughts on the trial before I move onto other cases.  I must admit that I’m still shocked at this huge win because they are so rare these days with the way our “justice” system is structured.  It has given me a renewed incentive to fight for other innocent people who still remain in prison.

I can summarize the defense case by saying that they did an outstanding job, very impressive.  They covered all bases, introduced new “touch” DNA evidence that was very compelling and did an excellent job cross examining all of the State witnesses.  They also had very competent experts who did a great job refuting the State’s expert’s testimony. Having said that, they were also placed in a difficult position with some of the judge’s rulings. More about that later.

I want to highlight the things that I found to be unfair in this trial because as long as this continues and people are barred from receiving fair trials, innocent people will continue to be wrongfully convicted of crimes.  Once that happens, it is a very difficult feat to overturn it and then to win an acquittal or hope to be exonerated with new evidence.

Prosecution team:

1) The way that the State dealt with the touch DNA evidence:  This type of DNA evidence – from skin cells left at the scene has been around for a while and has been widely accepted in courts across the country.  This wasn’t anything new.  Yes, it’s true that contamination can occur but Boney’s full DNA profile was found under Kim’s nail and there was strong DNA evidence – Kim’s DNA on the sleeve of the sweatshirt – an indication of a struggle.  I believe the strongest DNA was found on Kim’s sweater – Boney’s DNA.
Note:  The prosecution is supposed to be the seeker of fact and truth. They are the ones who should have been introducing this evidence when they prosecuted Boney in ’06; instead they never bothered to test the items for touch DNA. They wouldn’t because they decided to build a case with Boney as a patsy – merely selling a gun, wrong place at the wrong time – ridiculous.  So in this trial they attempted to discredit the evidence and failed.

2) Jailhouse snitch: The only thing I learned from this witness was that he received State favors in exchange for his testimony.
Note:  This is improper and unethical

3) Boney was the State’s star witness: Just think about this for a minute – the simple fact that they were so desperate to win that even as their case crumbled over time, they refused to let go – even going to the point of having a lying murderer as a Star witness.

Timeline problem – The most important take away from Boney was that he testified that he arrived at the Camm’s at 7PM, Dave arrived shortly after that, he handed him the .380 Lorcin, Kim pulled into the garage, shootings occurred.  The problem is – Neither Kim or Dave were home at that time.  Kim was at the pool until 7:10 and it’s a 25 minute drive home; Dave was just arriving at the gym at 7PM.
Note: The prosecutor lied in closing arguments and stated that Boney testified that he arrived at the home at 7:30PM.  This is improper and unethical.

I would also like to briefly summarize the problems with all three prosecutors in this case – back to the beginning of the case and what occurred with each one of them.  None of them were willing to objectively examine the evidence and admit they were wrong about Camm.  This case is a great example of the “win at all cost” mentality of today’s prosecutors who are rewarded for winning convictions.

prosecutors3

Judge Dartt’s rulings:

1) He disallowed all testimony about prosecutorial misconduct –  This was important because it showed that the very early investigation was flawed and had it be done properly the sweatshirt that they considered an “artifact” would have led them directly and immediately to Charles Boney – they would have noticed the similar crime pattern – investigated his car and home – likely found evidence – checked for fingerprints inside Camm home – likely even more evidence – end of story – prosecute him for the murders.  Camm is free to grieve for the loss of his family.

Key evidence of prosecutorial misconduct that should have been allowed –

a) Mike McDaniels – Camm’s first defense attorney testified outside the jury’s presence that Stan Faith (first prosecutor) said he ran the DNA profile though CODIS and there was no match, way back in 2001. This is evidence that he intentionally withheld exculpatory evidence that would have led to Boney.  Boney’s DNA was in CODIS since ’97.

b) Two state witnesses testified in the second trial about Stan Faith’s attempts to coerce them into committing perjury by stating that the evidence implicated Camm when it did not.  Dartt didn’t allow any questioning about it in this trial.

2) Specifics of Boney’s past crimes:  Dartt refused to allow any evidence of Boney’s foot and shoe fetish in the trial even though it was completely consistent with evidence at the scene – Kim’s shoes placed carefully on top of the Bronco, socks missing and never found, feet badly bruised.  The jury should have heard this.

3) Aiding and Abetting InstructionJudge Dartt added this to the jury instructions – allowing them to convict Camm of murder if they believed he “had something to do with it” even though the State never once asserted that he assisted Boney in the murder.  This was a blanket, a catch-all for jurors who weren’t convinced of Camm’s guilt based on evidence but nonetheless were permitted to convict based on a “feeling” he was involved.  This was wrong and certainly would have been a strong point of appeal had Camm been convicted.

Of course there is much more to this case but for my own closure I wanted to summarize my thoughts about everything looking back. I believe this case can be used as an example for law students who wish to study wrongful convictions.  It had many of the elements that are typically found in wrongful conviction cases.

  • Brady violations – withholding exculpatory evidence critical to the defense
  • Jailhouse snitches – given favors in exchange for their testimony
  • Coercion of witnesses
  • Tunnel vision
  • Junk science
  • Judicial bias

998294_10202246697358330_227068373_nI believe that as more people become aware of wrongful convictions and how they occur, there will be less ability for prosecutors to use these tactics to convict innocent people.  At least that is my hope.  I am pleased that the jurors in the Camm case were able to see the truth about this case.  Finally, there is justice – Camm is free – but there should be consequences for all who participated in this wrongful conviction.  Much suffering could have been avoided.  Until prosecutors are held accountable for their actions, this will continue.

I hope David Camm can find peace, that he can heal and have a happy, productive life now that he is finally free.

Jury Questions – David Camm Trial #3

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Neimeyer:

1) What was the caliber of the shell casings found at the scene? (.380)

2) Was it possible that what had been reported as a mixture of blood and serum found streaming from Kim Camm’s head could be something else, such as blood and urine? (Niemeyer wasn’t able to answer.)

 

McDaniel:
The jury had several questions for McDaniel, including whether there were time locks on the gym doors (he wasn’t aware of any) and whether there were cameras on the outside of the gym (he doesn’t recall.)

Galloway (neighbor)
The jury asked if he had seen David Camm’s vehicle pull onto the street shortly before Kim Camm’s vehicle did. He said he did not, but he may have missed it.

Scamahorn:

QUESTION: Was this a typical DNA investigation?

ANSWER: “I would say it’s typical of a murder case with a lot of evidence,” Scamahorn said, adding that, “this is a very large case.”

Jury question: Can you tell if sweatshirt was being worn when it got blood on it?

No..blood expert

Jury question: Did Kim’s nails or Jill’s nail scrapings show any other person’s DNA?

No.

QUESTION: Was the fingernail found in the right front floorboard of the Bronco consistent with being torn, or clipped?

ANSWER: “That’s not something I can make a judgment call on,” Scamahorn said.

QUESTION: Was DNA from either Charles Boney or his girlfriend, Mala Singh Mattingly, found on the fingernail clippings from Kim Camm?

ANSWER: “No to both of those,” Scamahorn said.

Scamahorn also had to answer why the DNA on the collar of the sweatshirt – DNA that was eventually traced to Charles Boney – wasn’t run through the FBI Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) until after David Camm’s first trial. CODIX is a catalog of DNA profiles belonging to convicted felons that contained Boney’s profile dating back to 1997.

Scamahorn said she was unaware of DNA on the collar, and that she never tested the collar in 2001 because there was writing on it (the word “Backbone”) and she didn’t want to destroy the writing.

Romero:

Upon jury questioning, Romero said that five years ago, she was called to Indianapolis.

“When I got there, I was told I wasn’t needed anymore,” she said. “I was told I could resign or go on disability.” She said the alleged disability was for a mental disorder. When asked what that disorder might be, she replied, “I have no idea.”

Nevertheless, she said she’s been “paid to stay home” — a standard practice while on disability. She receives half her salary. She said she wants to go back to her job, but every couple of years she is evaluated by doctors — also standard practice — and despite being cleared by the doctors to return to her job three times, the Indiana State Police will not allow her to come back.

Back to Boney’s sweatshirt. Scamahorn: though Boney’s DNA in FBI CODIS database in 1997, I didn’t take sample to run til 2005.

Jury: why? (no answer on twitter?)

Jury: who decides what DNA samples get run through CODIS? Scamahorn: ISP administrators, and FBI screeners. Won’t run ‘insufficient’ samples

Wessel:

Jury: fingerprints taken from casings?

Wessel: yes. (Whose are outside area of expertise) Gun fire-able “as fast as you can pull trigger”

Singleton:

Singleton, to juror’s question: theoretically ‘possible’ to ‘place’ somebody’s print, “but I’ve never been able to do it.”

Barber:

Do you know whether David/Kim had Will, and if so, whether it named Danny as custodian?

Barber: don’t know about either.

Biddle:

Biddle responds to jurors’ questions: “don’t know” whether Camm’s cellphone recovered or its records. “Ask Sean Clemons” (ISP investigator )

Jurors: were “other leads” being pursued when Camm called you ?

Biddle: several, including reports of “dark vehicle” seen in area,

Biddle to Jurors: don’t know why Camm left ISP four months before murders, nor how long served. (Defense: “better paying, safer sales job”)

Marks:

Did you have anything to gain by findings–promotion..raise..ect? Does the FBI acknowledge belief of blood spatter?

Can you see blood in fabric weave from photos? Yes.

Was there other HV spatter from Jill at scene? Yes.

How can you see blood stain ‘down in the weave’, from photographs.

Marks: some photos focused enough to magnify; saw it

Jurors: why only a few drops of ‘Spatter’ on Camm’s T-shirt, if firing at close range?

Marks: ‘partially dispersed’ patterns not uncommon

Why wasn’t there HV spatter from Brad on ‘s shirt? Many factors..shot in soft tissue..angle hit..things in path

Marks: if there are ‘intermediate’ targets blocking bullet’s main target (arms, legs, clothing, hair), could explain smaller pattern too.

Jurors: if Bradley Camm were shot while in the Bronco, would there be his blood on Camm’s T-shirt? (DNA shows NOT, in disputed area)

Marks: Brad’s wound was ‘soft tissue’ (through shoulder before severing spinal cord and exiting) — “would not surprise me.”

Jurors: would shooter have gunshot residue on hand? Could it be washed off?

Marks: yes. And Yes.

Jurors: could blood dots on Camm’s shirt come from ‘direct pressure’, by LEANING against ‘Spatter stain’ (somewhere in the Bronco)?

Marks: you could “mimic” the pattern being transferred, but not at this size. And the pattern would STILL be atop of shirt weave, not IN it

Boney:

Jurors ask Boney what type guns he carries in backpack? Boney: most automatics. .380s and 5-shot revolvers. (defense pounces on this later)

Juror: how did you scrape knee? Boney: the fall in the garage. I was wearing cargo pants under jeans. It was an abrasion that bled.

Jurors: where were you, to hear what was going on in the garage? (Had claimed he’d heard arguing, then Camm open fire) Boney: right outside

how could you hear what was going on in house when in garage?”

I heard him.

Jurors: Why didn’t you call police after shootings?

Boney: I was a coward. Didn’t want to go back to prison.

Boney (on why he didn’t report crimes): I thought of Charles Boney rather than giving Renns (Kim’s parents, Brad-Jills grandparents) closure

Jurors: How did Mala (girlfriend) get blood on sweatshirt? Boney: she’s a diabetic. May have given herself insulin shot or sugar test

Jurors: why go to Camm family’s graves? Boney: wanted to see where they were. J: Any earlier contact with Camm or family? Boney: No.

Jurors: why did you use sweatshirt?

Boney: to conceal gun.

Jurors: did you deliver guns loaded?

B: both times

J: why loaded?

B: always have

Jurors: what was David Camm wearing 9/28/2000?

Boney: dark nylon warmup pants, T-shirt saying ‘buckle up’ (seatbelt safety)

More Boney questions (some may be duplicates as they are from a different source)

Question: What types of guns did you carry in your bag?
Answer: Mostly automatics — .45s, .380s and five-shot revolvers.

Question: How did you get the scrape on your knee on the night of Sept. 28, 2000?
Answer: The scrape came directly from the fall after he tripped on Kim Camm’s shoes.

Question: Why didn’t you call 911 after witnessing the murders.
Answer: “Because I was a coward. I was afraid. I was afraid of my return to prison.”

Question: How did Mala Singh’s blood get on your sweatshirt.
Answer: Boney said his girlfriend at the time, Mala Singh, was a diabetic, and often gave herself shots.

Question: Why did you later visit the Camm family graves?
Answer: Boney said it was his own way of telling them “I was sorry for not coming forward.” He also said he just wanted to find them.

Question: Did he have any association with David Camm before seeing him at Sam Peden Community Park months before the murders?
Answer: None.

Question: Was he close to David Camm’s brother, Danny Camm, when they went to the same school as kids?
Answer: “Not really. He was an unconventional choice for my social circle.”

Question: Did you deliver the clean guns to David Camm loaded?
Answer: “Yes. Both times.”

Question: Why would you sell a loaded gun?
Answer: Boney said he always did this, but later added, “I think it’s quite dangerous, seeing the aftermath – the aftereffect.”

Bullock:

Jurors ask whether Camm ever told him why he left state police.

Bullock: no.

Jurors: how long was each tattoo session?

Bullock: varies

Bullock had explained earlier that prison forbade gettting tattoos, so getting or doing them meant working when guards weren’t looking.

Question: if you receive a sentence modification for being a witness in another case, is it noted on any documents?

Answer: No – the deal is worked out ahead of time.

Mattingly:

Jurors also ask why Boney asked her to get gun?

Mattingly: I honestly don’t know why.

Jurors: if guns bothered you so much, why stay?

Mattingly: I did leave the day after (when she claims Boney showed her gun). Her first written statement hadn’t mentioned gun.

(another source) QUESTION: If you dislike guns so much, why didn’t you leave then?
ANSWER: “It wasn’t long after [that] I left. When he came in the room and showed me, that’s when I left.”

QUESTION: Were you on blood thinners in Sept. 2000?
ANSWER: Mattingly replied that she didn’t know what blood thinners were. She then went on to list several medications she was on at the time.

QUESTION: Did Charles Boney ever use his car to transport dirty laundry to places other than his mother’s?
ANSWER: Mattingly told the jury she didn’t know, and she wasn’t allowed to look inside Boney’s backpack, “because he was so private.”

Englert:

QUESTION: If cotton absorbs liquid, would high-velocity impact spatter remain on the outer portion of a garment?
ANSWER: Yes, because it could not be absorbed onto the other side.

QUESTION: Do you review your previous testimony in the other Camm trials?
ANSWER: Yes, because he has to protect himself from being taken out of context.

QUESTION: Can blood from medium-velocity spatter go into the weave of the shirt? What if the quality of the shirt is poor?
ANSWER: Medium-velocity spatter will typically go through the shirt and come out the other side. High-velocity spatter will not because it is so small.

QUESTION: If you know, was gun oil found on Charles Boney’s sweatshirt?
ANSWER: I don’t know.


QUESTION: Was Charles Boney’s shirt tested for gun oil?

ANSWER: I don’t know.


QUESTION: Who would know?
ANSWER: Someone from a crime lab.

QUESTION: Does thread count in a shirt make a difference in blood spatter penetration?
ANSWER: Yes it does.

QUESTION: Is it possible for a transfer stain to appear as high-velocity impact spatter?
ANSWER: High-velocity impact spatter cannot be duplicated unless you use high-energy.

Gibson:

Jurors ask Gibson if he knows why Camm left ISP four months before murders (they’ve asked several witnesses).

Gibson: just for a better job

Jurors also ask whether Camm had said anything was wrong with left side of the Bronco? Gibson: no.

Unclear where jurors were going, except that blood/ballistics analysts says Kim Camm was standing on passenger side when shot.

Bevel:

QUESTION: The photo of David Camm’s shoe – the one that shows what you claim is a projected stain on the side – also show stains that seem to be moving in a different direction. How do you explain this?
ANSWER: Bevel made a distinction between the larger stain – which he said was projected – and a smaller stain that he said was moving in a downward direction. He said the stains were made in two separate events.

QUESTION: In your experience, how can you have an incident where a suspect shoots someone and come away with only a handful of high-velocity impact stains on his shirt?
ANSWER: It’s possible to have a shooter with NO high-velocity impact stains on his clothing. The number that appears is dependent on a number of factors, including objects that can block the stains, such as hair, clothing or other items.

Jury: Why no HVIS on ‘s shorts and just 8 dots on his shirt? How can that be?

B: Jill’s hair/skin diverted path..got in way

QUESTION: Does the law enforcement community support your findings of HVIS on David Camm’s shirt?
ANSWER: Yes, “if I understand your question correctly.”

QUESTION: Why didn’t you make a report in this case?
ANSWER: “Thank you for asking that.” Bevel said he had originally only been hired to provide a second opinion to the state’s main blood spatter experts. “I never even believed I would be in court at the time I offered a blind opinion.”

QUESTION: Could wind have blown Kim Camm’s hair into the pants button?
ANSWER: “In my opinion, no. Not in this setting.”

QUESTION: Do you think Kim Camm’s body was moved?
ANSWER: “I do.”

Jurors: how could Camm fire at close range, and not have stains on shorts?

Bevel: flight, skin and hair can determine blood path.

Jurors: why DIDN’T you write a full report?

Bevel: was brought in for second opinion (prior to 1st trial) I would’ve, if thought I’d testify

Sam Lockhart:

QUESTION: David Camm told you he was sitting out a game in order to run, stretch and get his heart rate up. Did you see him doing this?
ANSWER: Lockhart said he saw him talking to Tom Jolly while he sat out of the game. He also saw him running.

QUESTION: Doesn’t playing full-court basketball get your heart rate up already?
ANSWER: **DIFFICULT TO HEAR.**

QUESTION: Where would David Camm have room to do this?
ANSWER: There are 12-15 feet on the sidelines where there are no bleachers.

QUESTION: Did you notice when Scott Schrank left the gym?
ANSWER: No.

QUESTION: Had you loaned David Camm money before Sept. 28, 2000?
ANSWER: No.

QUESTION: How much money have you spent for Camm’s defense in the past 13 years?
ANSWER: “I don’t know what the figure is. I have not added it up.” “It was well over six figures.” Said he sold part of his business to finance Camm’s defense, and also took out a $165,000 mortgage.

Gilbert:

Jurors to Gilbert: whose number did Kim Camm’s phone call at 7:50?

Gilbert: don’t know. Also claims not to know if call incoming/outgoing.

Phone records also show two calls 9/29/2000; AFTER murders, after phone in police custody.

Gilbert: don’t know about those either

Jurors: did you confront Det. Wilkerson (Boney’s cousin) about taking phone?

Gilbert: Yes (later tells prosecutors action was “improprer”)

Goetz:

Multiple jury questions about why Goetz used 100% cotton T-shirt in experiments when ‘s shirt was 50% cotton..50% polyester.

Goetz: Cotton more absorbent than blend. But 50/50 blend washed repeatedly..like Camm’s shirt..becomes more absorbent.

Jury: Is it possible Jill’s blood is both transfer & spatter?

G: Anything possible

Jury: Do you know where backpack was when pulled Brad out?

G: No. Only know where it was when crime scene photos were taken but wouldn’t expect that from experiments. It’s transfer.

Jury: Would small dots of blood in Jill’s hair still be viable/wet 2 hours after shot? Wouldn’t it be dried?

G: Dries but still drainage

Jury: Are you aware if the state’s experts did any experiments and if so..did they video them?

Goetz: I don’t know.

Epstein:

Jury: What was weather on day you did experiments in Camm garage Oct ’01? What was it on 9/28/00?

Epstein: 72 degrees when we did blood experiments on garage floor. Don’t know what weather was night of murders.

Jury: Would temp affect experiments and blood clotting/serum separation?

Epstein: Air & surface temps would. Also people clot differently

Jury: Could Kim have been holding her pants when shot..then fallen on them?

Epstein: Yes

Eikelenboom:

J: “Is the amount of touch DNA determined by degree of violence?”

E: Yes..more force applied..better profile.

J: Was touch DNA testing done on Kim’s neck?”

Jury: “Was further testing done on yellow stains on Boney’s sweatshirt?”

No..most stains cut out by time it came to us.

Jury also asked to see pictures of IFS Colorado lab but defense only had Netherlands lab. Those photos entered into evidence.

Rossmo:

Jurors want to know when Rossmo first got involved in Camm case.

Rossmo guesstimates last summer

Juror: odd that Camm didn’t recognize sweatshirt or mention it. Rossmo: no. May not have been in garage long, other matters preoccupied.

Juror: wouldn’t examining all evidence available (and investigators’ findings) create its own bias? Rossmo: not if you view it in total

Jurors ask Fay why he believes Brad had ‘survivable wound’ when medical examiner say he probably lived no more than five minutes.

Fay: with medical attention, may have lived long enough to describe who shot him (M.E. had said Bradley paralyzed, but speech possible)

Fay also tells jurors he believes Kim Camm removed her pants herself, probably at gunpoint. “No substantial inconsistencies in Camm’s story”

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Rebuttal:

Rudin:

Jury: Stance on using trace DNA in trials?

R: As long as analyzed reliably.

Jury: Ever reviewed other people’s trace?

Almost every case in last 5-10 yrs. Consulted on 750 cases in 25 yr career.

Jury: Did you enter into the case unbiased?

Yes..I analyze results knowing v little about case initially. I review the science.

Bevel (questions in rebuttal testimony)

Jurors Questions for Bevel: What does your red laser (in Re-creations) represent?

Bevel: shows T-shirt

What does laser path represent if not blood flight path?

B: Just showing COULD reach there..not blocked by anything.

Jurors: Experiment shows “Jill” laying on seat. If head were upright?

Bevel: she’d put gunshot spatter on (Camm’s) T-shirt.

Why didn’t we see your re-enactment during first testimony?

B: Not sure. Prosecution told me it was for rebuttal.

Why didn’t you turn Brad in re-enactment..entry wound in front of shoulder?

That was at time he was shot..not when fell.

J: How much blood did you use to represent blood on Jill’s head?

B: Two eyedroppers filled with blood.

J: In your opinion..can small 1 mm transfer stains be made from coagulated blood on hair?
B: Certainly possible.

Jurors suggests that Goetz disproved his own theory (no ‘spatter’ if shirt hem is below gunshot wound) Bevel agrees.

Prosecutors follow-up: had “jill” been shot, while upright?

Bevel: “much less likely” for Camm to get blood on T-shirt, removing Bradley.

Defense: Goetz conducted his spatter v. transfer blood experiments with shirts at different levels (implying Bevel’s misrepresenting result)

Juror: Can coagulated/stiffened blood in hair make 1mm stains (the essence of Camm’s defense)

Bevel: stain size=same as before blood dried.

Bevel: could such a stain be ‘transferred’ (i.e. Camm’s shirt brushing up against Jill’s hair)?

Yes, if “proper” contact was made.

David Camm Trial: Critical Testimony The Jury Won’t Hear

cammI was really hoping that Camm would finally receive a fair trial the 3rd time around but I’m becoming increasingly concerned about Judge Dartt’s rulings as the trial progresses.  There are two very critical defense objectives that are being barred from the jury.

1) Indications of prosecutorial misconduct

2) Evidence of Charles Boney’s modus operandi left at the crime scene

Why is this important

The prosecutorial misconduct in this case is critical for the jurors to hear because had it not occurred, the investigation would have progressed in an entirely different direction and it would have progressed toward Charles Boney from the very beginning.

It all comes down to the sweatshirt found at the scene.  Consider this scenario –

The sweatshirt is tested for DNA → The profile is identified → The profile is run through the DNA database (CODIS) → The profile matches Charles Boney → Boney is questioned about the murders.

The modus operandi was there.

  • It was typical for Boney to leave a sweatshirt at the crime scenes as he would remove it after the crime so that people wouldn’t identify him wearing the sweatshirt.
  • He had a history of assaulting women and stealing their shoes – Kim Camm’s shoes were removed and placed carefully on the Bronco, her socks/stockings were removed and never found.
  • Boney arrived home that evening sweating, panting and carrying a gun.
  • He had no verifiable alibi for that evening.
  • We now know that his DNA was recently found on the victims’ clothing.

It would have been an easy case to prosecute.  The evidence was very convincing and we know that David Camm was playing basketball at the time of the murders.  David could have mourned the loss of his family with the help of his caring family.  Instead he was locked up in a jail cell three days after the most unimaginable nightmare occurred.

What actually happened:

Sweatshirt from the scene was stuffed in a body bag → Investigators considered it “an artifact”, no significance to the case → Defense attorney and family members pleaded with the prosecution to test the item for DNA → The defense was told by Stan Faith that it was run through CODIS and there was NO match → Camm was prosecuted based on 4-8 tiny blood drops on his t-shirt and a lot of character assassination → 5 years later the new defense team again pushed for the DNA testing → Boney was identified in 2005 → the State takes credit for testing and identifying Charles Boney

Instead of dropping charges against Dave they instead opted to concoct a conspiracy story for Boney – one that would place him there as a witness.  Boney’s distant cousin, Myron Wilkerson coerced him to put together a story that would implicate Camm and keep Boney off death row.  Wilkerson was not part of the investigative team, yet he was given access to Boney.  There is no doubt.  Coercion of a suspect occurred.  Obstruction of justice occurred.

Had the above scenario played out, had the sweatshirt been tested at the beginning, a dangerous felon and now murderer would have been off the street in 2000.  Instead, the public officials of Floyd County opted to keep him free so that they could save face.  No one would want to be accused of releasing a violent criminal into the community – one who would murder three innocent people three months after his release.  Boney was released in 2000 after serving only 7 years of a 20 year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping.  Three months later the Camm murders occurred and everyone knows how this case has evolved.  The miscarriage of justice against David Camm is clear.

Judge Dartt is making a mistake.  These two factors are critical to David Camm’s defense and if he doesn’t allow the jury to hear this and David is convicted the appeals court can easily overturn it again. Please, Judge Dartt – if you are reading this, do the right thing.  The jury has every right to know about everything that transpired in this investigation, including the previous prosecutions.  The mishandling of evidence that occurred early on affected everything about this case.  There is no denying that fact. Stan Faith was responsible for that.

David Camm Trial #3 – Summary of Testimony From Each Witness

blood spatterThe following summaries were obtained from Travis Kircher’s blog.  He has been attending the trial and blogging about key testimony.  I haven’t included everything here, only brief summaries.

Prosecution Witness #1: Andrew Lee

“Get everybody out there to my house now!” Camm shouted on the recording when Lee eventually picked up. “My wife and my kids are dead!”  After the recording was played, Lee was questioned on the witness stand by the prosecution. He was asked if it was strange that Camm demanded to speak to the post command, rather than simply calling 911.  “I think the dispatcher could have handled the situation without having to transfer the call to me,” he said.

Later on cross examination by defense attorney Stacy Uliana, he would admit that, “as a trooper, you dial the numbers instinctively for post a whole lot.”

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Prosecution Witness #2: Patricia Brown

Next, jurors were read testimony by Patricia Brown, the post dispatcher who took the call (Brown is currently hospitalized and unable to give testimony in person).  Through the written word, Brown testified that she had trouble finding David Camm’s address because he had called the ISP post command instead of regular dispatchers.  “At the time, we just needed to get him help,” she said. “But we needed an address. I didn’t know his address.”  She said she lost five minutes of time before she was able to nail down a location for Camm’s Georgetown home.

Defense countered by trying to show that Camm was in emotional distress.  “Dave was very upset in the phone call, wasn’t he?” Uliana asked.  “I suppose he was upset,” Brown replied, before adding later, “there’s different types of upset.”

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Prosecution Witness #3: James Niemeyer – crime scene investigator

He told the jury that he shot video of the crime scene – and that graphic video was played for the jurors. There was no sound, but it showed the interior of the garage where the murders took place.

Under cross examination, Niemeyer told the jury that then Prosecutor Stan Faith hired blood stain pattern expert Rod Englert, who dispatched his protégé, Rob Stites, to the scene. Niemeyer said he resented Stites, but added that, “I don’t think he really hurt anything.”  “I had a problem with Mr. Stites,” he said. “I didn’t appreciate him being there.”  He said Stites came all the way from Oregon but failed to bring a kit to test blood, and later seized part of a garage door that he believed contained blood stains, despite the fact that a phenolphthalein test eliminated blood as a possibility.

Uliana then had Niemeyer recall taking a palm print approximately 1′-9″ from the top of Kim Camm’s Ford Bronco, which was found in the garage at the murder scene. That palm print was later traced to Charles Boney, who would eventually be convicted for the three murders.  “You hit a home run, didn’t you?” Uliana said.

Uliana pointed out that, contrary to procedure, the rolls of film containing pictures of the crime scene were not sent to an Indiana State Police lab, but instead to a commercial 24-hour film developing facility. As a result, she said the “identifiers” – the tags used to mark each picture with the time, date and location it was taken – were lost.

Uliana then challenged Niemeyer’s ability to keep an open mind about the investigation. She took him back to when he first arrived at the crime scene and was standing outside the garage.

“And you made the determination at this point that this was a David Camm crime scene,” she said.  “That is incorrect.”  He was then presented with a statement from a prior proceeding in which he said he knew, “this was David Camm’s crime.”  “And you thought it even before you went inside David Camm’s home,” Uliana said. Before he took pictures, or videos, or fingerprints.

“That’s correct,” Niemeyer replied. Later, when questioned by Special Prosecutor Stan Levco, he would explain himself: “When I walked up and looked through the garage door, things went through my mind,” he added. He said he didn’t think the suspect was a burglar.

“Does a burglar shoot a woman and two children?” he asked. “You’ve got two exits.”  He added that he believed Kim’s attacker was known to her, because if it was a complete stranger, “all she would have to do was put the vehicle in reverse and blow it.”  “She knew him and she wasn’t afraid of him,” he said. “I was convinced David was involved.”  Uliana would later mock these hunches as, “great theories that you came up with in five minutes” and point out that people do get shot during robberies.

Juror’s questions:
1) What was the caliber of the shell casings found at the scene? (.380)

2) Was it possible that what had been reported as a mixture of blood and serum found streaming from Kim Camm’s head could be something else, such as blood and urine? (Niemeyer wasn’t able to answer.)

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Prosecution Witness #4: James Bube

The prosecutors presented the jury with 2D renderings of a 3D image Bube created of the interior of the Camm’s garage and home. He also created a diagram of the murder scene, showing the bodies of Kim and Brad Camm on the ground outside the Bronco.

Upon cross examination, Uliana pointed out that the shooting happened in the garage, “but you still took the time to document the inside of the house – and to do it right.” Bube agreed.

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Prosecution Witness #5: Charlie McDaniel

Charlie McDaniel is a 26-year veteran of the Indiana State Police, who serves in the area of crime scene investigation. He told the court that he supervised the transportation of the Kim Camm’s Ford Bronco here to Lebanon, Ind. specifically for this trial.  Special Prosecutor Stan Levco asked him if the front passenger side seat was working in the sense that it could be pushed forward and back.  McDaniel said that, “sometimes I could get it to work. Most of the time I could not.”

Levco then submitted into evidence numerous fiber samples he had taken from the carpet in various areas of the Camm home. Defense attorney Stacy Uliana pointed out that those fibers had been collected in 2005, years after the murders, with new residents living in the home. Videos taken by McDaniel of the interior and exterior of the Georgetown Community Church gym were also submitted into evidence. In prior trials, 10 witnesses testified that they were playing basketball with David Camm at the gym during the time of the murders. “Did you count the number of exits there are from the building?” Levco asked.   “There are nine exterior exits,” McDaniel said.

“Were you ordered to take carpet samples from any other house?” she asked.  “No I was not,” he replied. Upon questioning, he told her he was never asked to take carpet samples from Charles Boney’s house.

He was also questioned about whether he had requested any surveillance video from a golf course that was nearby the Georgetown Community Church gym. He testified that he had not, and was not aware that there were any surveillance cameras at the golf course.

Juror’s questions –

Were there time locks on the gym doors – he wasn’t aware of any.

Were there cameras on the outside of the gym – he didn’t recall.

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Prosecution Witness #6: John Galloway (neighbor)

He said that on the night of the murders, he and his wife were driving to dinner when they passed Camm at an intersection at roughly 5 p.m.

He also testified that at 7:30 that evening, he was back home watching Jeopardy, when he believed he saw Kim Camm’s vehicle pull onto Lockhart Road to go home.

Juror’s questions –

Asked if he had seen David Camm’s vehicle pull onto the street shortly before Kim Camm’s vehicle did. He said he did not, but he may have missed it.

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Prosecution Witness #7: Brandon W. Beaven (neighbor)

“Were you at school that day?” Meyer asked. “I did not go to school that day,” Beaven replied, to some laughter. He explained that his car wasn’t working, and he convinced his mom into letting him stay home from school to work on it. He said he spent most of the day on his back tucked under the rear fender, until roughly 4:30 or 5:00 p.m., and saw several cars go by.

There was one vehicle that stood out that I did not recognize,” at 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m., he said. He described it as a “dark colored Cadillac” that didn’t have Indiana license plates. He said when it past him the first time, it was driving normally, but when it came back, driving in the opposite direction, it was traveling “at a high rate of speed.”

He said there may have been a passenger in the vehicle the second time it passed by, but he wasn’t sure.

Kammen showed him a photograph that police presented him with in 2005 – a photograph of a maroon colored Cadillac with gold trim on the wheels. When asked whether it was the same car he saw on the afternoon of Sept. 28, 2000, Beaven said that it was similar.
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Prosecution Witness #8: Deborah Aven – Kim Camm acquaintance

Aven was at swim lessons with her kids, talked to Kim.  She said she left around 7:15 p.m.

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Prosecution Witness #9: Rob Steier – Schwann’s driver

Steier testified that on Sept. 28, 2000, he showed up at the Camm residence to take delivery orders. He arrived at approximately 6:35 p.m. and David Camm answered the door.  “As best as I can remember, he was wearing gym shorts,” Steier said.  Steier testified that Camm told him he was going to play basketball at “an underground church” at 7 p.m. He also testified that Camm offered up this information spontaneously, and not in response to any question.

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Prosecution Witness #10: Mark Slaughter – detective with Floyd County police

Slaughter said during the investigation that night, Detective Gary Gilbert gave him the responsibility of transporting David Camm to the Indiana State Police Sellersburg Post – roughly 15 miles from Camm’s home – for questioning.  “Did you notice anything unusual about Mr. Camm?” Special Prosecutor Steve Levco asked.  Slaughter said “he was visibly upset.”  “I did notice a spot on his shoe,” he added. “It was a dark colored spot on his right shoe…it could have been a blood stain.”

Prosecution Witness #11 – Lynn Scamahorn – former DNA analyst for ISP

  • DNA and blood from Kim and 7-year-old Brad Camm were found on a sweatshirt worn by Charles Boney, as well as DNA from Boney’s ex-girlfriend Mala Mattingly.
  • DNA and blood from 5-year-old Jill and Brad were found on a t-shirt worn by David Camm on the night of the murders. No DNA from Kim Camm was found on that shirt.
  • Kim’s DNA and blood were found on one of David Camm’s shoes and on a sock.
  • Camm’s DNA was found in sperm in Kim’s underwear.
  • fingernail was found in the right front floorboard of the Ford Bronco
  • Tests showed that the fingernail did not belong to David, Brad or Jill Camm, and was consistent with the DNA of Kim Camm.
  • In Area 40 and Area 23 of the t-shirt – located on the back of the t-shirt, near the right-hand side – Scamahorn found DNA consistent with Jill Camm. In total she found Jill’s blood in four areas of the t-shirt
  • Bradley Camm’s blood found in 4-5 areas of Camm’s t-shirt, specifically on the chest area
  • No blood was found on the gym shorts Camm was wearing that night
  • Scamahorn did two rounds of DNA testing on the sweatshirt. The first round took place in Sept. 2001, and she found unidentified female DNA on the sweatshirt, near the hem of the shirt as well as near the upper left shoulder.  That DNA would later be traced to Mala Singh Mattingly.
  • Bradley’s DNA was discovered on the shirt
  • Kim’s was found on the left sleeve of Boney’s shirt.
  • Charles Boney’s DNA was discovered on the sweatshirt, near the collar.
  • David Camm’s DNA not on the sweatshirt.

Juror’s questions:

Was this a typical DNA investigation?  “I would say it’s typical of a murder case with a lot of evidence. This is a very large case.”

Was the fingernail found in the right front floorboard of the Bronco consistent with being torn, or clipped? “That’s not something I can make a judgment call on,”

Was DNA from either Charles Boney or his girlfriend, Mala Singh Mattingly, found on the fingernail clippings from Kim Camm?  “No to both of those.”

Why was the DNA on the collar of the sweatshirt – DNA that was eventually traced to Charles Boney – not run through the FBI Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) until after David Camm’s first trial. Scamahorn: said she was unaware of DNA on the collar, and that she never tested the collar in 2001 because there was writing on it (the word “Backbone”) and she didn’t want to destroy the writing.

Uliana pointed out that, had then-Prosecutor Stan Faith shown her the DNA, she would have tested it – and found Boney years earlier.

Scamahorn was questioned outside the presence of the jury –

Uliana presented Scamahorn with a document and asked her to describe it.

“It’s a letter that I wrote regarding the first trial and the prosecutor,” she said.

Scamahorn said that the first prosecutor – Stan Faith – called her into a private meeting in his office during a break from her testimony in the first trial. He then allegedly demanded that Scamahorn testify that she found David Camm’s DNA on the mysterious gray sweatshirt that, years later, would be traced to Boney. Scamahorn said she couldn’t do this because the facts didn’t back it up.

“He was not pleasant, I would say,” Scamahorn said.

“He cursed at you?” Uliana asked.

“Yes.”

“And he wanted you to say things that you felt were beyond science?” Uliana asked.

“Yes,” Scamahorn said, adding, “he was very much not happy with me.”

Scamahorn said Faith threatened to contact her superiors and that it was “definitely implied” that her job was being threatened. She also said Faith threatened to charge her with obstruction of justice if she didn’t testify to what he wanted.

Uliana asked if she thought Faith was trying to wrongfully influence her to testify to facts that were beyond science.

“Possibly. Possibly. Yeah.”

“He did threaten your job,” Uliana said.

“That is true.”

“And he did threaten to charge you with a felony,” Uliana added.

“That is true,” Scamahorn replied.

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Prosecution witness #12: Shelly Romero (Former K-9 Handler for Indiana State Police)

She then saw David Camm at the scene and hugged him.  “He said, ‘Somebody’s killed my f—ing family!'” Romero testified. “When I first arrived, he was real quiet, kind of withdrawn, like he didn’t want to be there,” she said.

She said he also brought up the moment he gave CPR to his son Brad, after finding his body in the Bronco. “He said that blood was just coming out of Bradley’s mouth, and he didn’t know whether to savor it or spit it out.”

Then, Romero said, his thoughts turned to himself. “At one point, he asked, ‘Who would be interested in me?'” Romero said. She said Camm was concerned that a man whose wife and kids had been murdered would not be datable. Camm would eventually be arrested, but Romero said he wouldn’t be the only person under suspicion. She said about a week after he was arrested, the police executed a search warrant at her home, and she spent the next year submitting blood and DNA samples for tests.

Kammen questioned her about her opinion of Camm’s arrest. “You questioned the quality of the investigation,” Kammen said. “You thought things moved a little quickly.”  “Yes,” she replied, adding that she became a “black sheep” in the department for questioning the investigation. She said she was suspended a few days after going to the funeral. The reason, according to Romero? She claims she was punished for making a modification to her K-9’s cage.  “You felt like they were making an example of you?” Kammen asked. “Yes sir.”

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Prosecution Witness #13 Janice Renn (Kim Camm’s mother)

Meyer asked her to call the events of Sept. 28, 2000 – the day of the murders.  Renn said it was the last day she saw Kim, Brad and Jill alive. “I picked up Brad to take him to get his allergy shot,” Renn said, adding that Kim was going to pick Jill up from dance class. “He [Brad] was hungry, as always, so I gave him a snack,” Renn said. She said he did his homework, and then “he watched some TV.”

At about 5:40, Renn said Kim showed up with Jill, to pick Brad up. Renn said Jill was hungry, so she made her a bag of cookies, while Kim munched on crackers.

Camm’s defense team had no questions for Renn.

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Prosecution witness: James Biddle (Retired Lieutenant for Indiana State Police)

He later discovered that Camm and his uncle, Sam Lockhart, had arrived at the home and wanted to go inside to get some property.  Biddle said Camm was told that the home was still a crime scene.

“He said something to the effect of, ‘Jim, we just want to get into the house to get those things,'” Biddle recalled.  Biddle refused to let him in. That’s when, he said, Camm “chest bumped” him.  Prosecutors asked if it was an accident.  “No sir, it was not an accident,” Biddle said.

The prosecution also played the audio of the phone call between David and Biddle.  There was nothing incriminating there, but here is the link to Kircher’s blog if you want to read the highlights.

Cross:  Kammen questioned the role of Sean Clemons, the lead investigator of the case. Kammen asked if Biddle kept Clemons as lead investigator, because he had a “good relationship” with Stan Faith, who was then the Floyd County Prosecutor. Biddle replied that “that’s part” of the reason, but when asked if the investigation deferred to the wishes of Faith throughout the case, he replied, “that’s not true.”

Kammen then asked Biddle about “the infamous gray sweatshirt that was found at the scene” – the sweatshirt that bore the name “Backbone” in the collar and, years later, was tied to Charles Boney, Camm’s alleged accomplice in the murders. Biddle said Camm’s family was told about the sweatshirt but, “I don’t recall if they were given the name.” He also testified that no one ran the nickname “Backbone” through a database of nicknames maintained by the Department of Corrections.

Biddle said, Stites identified what he believed to behigh velocity impact spatter” on Camm’s t-shirt. (High velocity impact spatter is a technical term. Experts say it consists of microscopic blood droplets that only appear when a person is standing less than four feet away from a victim when they are shot by a gun.) It was discovery that led to Camm’s arrest, according to Biddle. “The prosecutor made the decision to arrest Camm, is that true?” Kammen asked. Biddle said that it was.

Biddle lied to Dave during their phone conversation: “Yes, I was lying,” Biddle admitted, referring to the fact that he knew Camm was about to be arrested the whole time. Was he lying all throughout the call? “Several times during that conversation, yes,” Biddle said.

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Prosecution Witness: Frank Loop – Member of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department

Loop testified briefly about a conversation he allegedly had around April or May of 2000, months before the murders. Loop said Camm told him he had a .380, but he wanted to get his money together to purchase a Beretta.

Kammen rose to cross examine Loop. He noted that Loop, like Stan Faith, had “also been involved in politics.” “I’m currently the elected township trustee,” Loop said. Kammen also pointed out that Loop ran for sheriff in 2005, and in 1999, was on the town board. “By December [2000], you heard through the law enforcement grapevine that a .380 might have been used in the murders,” Kammen said. “That is true,” Loop replied.

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Prosecution Witness: Susan Block (Semonin Realtors Broker – New Albany, Indiana)

She testified about a phone call she allegedly received from David Camm the day before the murders about a listing at 1010 Woodfield Drive in New Albany. She said the 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom single residence home was listed for $189,900.  “Basically, he was just asking about the property, so I gave him the information on it,” she said. She said she never got any indication that Camm had discussed it with his wife Kim.

Upon cross examination, she said Camm told her he would possibly look at the home that upcoming weekend, and that he’d discussed with her that the home was five minutes from Graceland Schools. She said he was hoping to move his children closer to the school, and there were several families in the neighborhood.

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Prosecution Witness: Robert M. Neal Indiana State Police Trooper

Robert M. Neal, an Indiana State Police trooper had previously served as a crime scene investigator.  He testified that in Sept. 2000, he was a detective squad leader in the Sellersburg district and he knew David Camm. He said he was called at home on Sept. 28, 2000 after the bodies of Kim, Brad and Jill were discovered. He then drove to the scene.  Neal said the decision was made that Camm should be taken to the Indiana State Police Sellersburg post to be interviewed – not because he was a suspect, but for the purpose of tracking down leads. They arrived at the ISP post shortly after midnight, Neal said, and an audio recording of the interview was made. That audio – with some redactions – was played for the jury. Partial transcript can be found here.

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