Prosecutorial misconduct – David Camm case

Many who have followed this case over the past 11 years believe that Camm must be guilty because the jury convicted him twice.  Understandably, it’s difficult to imagine that they could get it wrong twice…but they did.  When you take the time to understand some of the outrageous, unethical things that the prosecutors did in this case, you will begin to understand just how this happened. It is also what resulted in the appeals court rulings to rightfully overturn the convictions. Citizens of Indiana should start paying more attention to these cases and demand a better justice system than one that has prosecutors engaging in criminal acts in order to “win”  convictions. It isn’t supposed to be like this.

Prosecutor Stan Faith

Why does prosecutorial misconduct occur?  Well, in this case it was largely due to their immediate and inaccurate focus on the wrong suspect. From this article: Focusing on the Wrong Suspect: In the rush to hastily convict and severely punish criminals, a prosecutor can focus too closely on a certain suspect, despite the existence of factors and/or evidence that points to a different perpetrator (Boney). Due to the nature of their profession, prosecutors tend to operate in the public eye, subject to intense scrutiny by the media and constituents, particularly in cases involving serious, shocking, and/or violent crimes. As a result, prosecutors sometimes make the mistake of devoting all resources to the prosecution of a certain suspect, rather than searching for other possible motives or evidence that might lead to another suspect. A prosecutor’s doggedness and zeal in this regard can cause him or her to simply ignore potentially exculpatory evidence or other factors that point away from the suspect at issue. Even when it appears quite possible that another person committed the crime, prosecutors can be tempted to disregard such evidence and focus solely on obtaining a conviction, even if it results in a wrongful conviction.


The sweatshirt found at the crime scene became one of the most important pieces of evidence in the case.  For those unfamiliar with the specifics of the case, a sweatshirt with the word “backbone” was found at the scene of the crime. (4 1/2 years later it would be found to match a career criminal with a history of assaulting women and a proven liar, Charles Boney). Although it was tested and found to contain unidentified male and female DNA, it was never run through the CODIS database before the first trial.  This is extremely significant because it likely would have changed the outcome of this case.  Had they identified Boney from the start, looked into his criminal record and thoroughly investigated him, they would have found evidence that placed him at the crime scene (palm print on the vehicle), they would have learned of his history of assaulting women, and he would have been convicted of the murders. Camm would have been able to heal from the loss of his precious family. But that was not to be.

  • The sweatshirt was sent to the ISP lab for testing early on, in October, 2000.  The results revealed that there was unidentified female DNA on the sweatshirt.
  • In October, 2001 the defense team had the sweatshirt tested in an independent lab.  They located cellular DNA from the collar.  Unidentified male DNA was found.  It did not match Camm’s profile.
  • Prosecutor Stan Faith claimed he told the ISP to run it in the CODIS database (where profiles of violent criminals is held).
  • ISP claims they were never told to run the DNA through CODIS and didn’t even know it existed!
  • The defense attorney at the time (Mike McDaniels) claims that he asked Faith to run the unknown DNA through CODIS, and Faith stated that he did but there was NO match.
  • Additional evidence disappeared – condoms found in the septic system (the Camm’s didn’t use condoms) and a shower curtain with blood on it.  No explanation was ever offered, no chain of custody records existed and no one was ever held accountable for the lost evidence, and it’s possible there was more.  Faith had his own office handling the investigation, and they were not trained in the handling of evidence and not trained to handle a crime scene.

Neglecting to test the unidentified DNA before the first trial was much more than a small oversight.  Had the real killer been identified early on, it’s unlikely the prosecutors would have ever asserted that there was a connection between Boney and Camm. No such evidence of any connection exists, simply because there is no connection. But by the time the DNA was finally matched to Boney, in 2005, they had already vested time, resources and energy into their claim that Camm was responsible for the murders, and prosecutors don’t like to admit to mistakes.

This is unrelated to this case, but just to offer an example, in the Michael Morton case, prosecutors fought the testing of DNA for 6 years and when it was finally tested, it exonerated Morton who served 25 years for the murder of his wife.  The real killer has recently been indicted but was free all those years.  So don’t think it doesn’t happen.  They will stick to their claim despite mountains of evidence that another person was responsible for the crime.

And that’s exactly what happened in this case. Prosecutors refused to admit that they made a mistake in charging Camm for the murders, even with the arrest and conviction of Boney.

There was something else that may have had an influence on this case too. An article described a connection between Faith and Boney.  Apparently Faith was friends with Boney’s mother and had been for decades.  Faith actually represented him at a hearing in 2004 in which he got his parole violation charges dropped!  Is it possible that Faith was covering for Boney all along?  Did he know that “Backbone” was Boney? It wouldn’t surprise me.

“I was his attorney in 2004,” Faith said. “Naturally I didn’t know I was sitting with a killer. It was a child support case, and termination of his probation in Bloomington.”

Faith admits to driving Boney home from jail that day — going above and beyond the duties of an attorney because of Faith’s relationship with Boney’s mother that dates back to the 80s.

“I’ve known her many years, yes, in a political arena,” Faith said. “In 1986, when I was first running, she was a supporter.”

But Faith says he never met Charles Boney until 2004, well after he prosecuted the first Camm case. Still, it is a bizarre coincidence.

When asked if he intentionally ignored the sweatshirt DNA because it belonged to Boney, Faith replied: “Absolutely not. I would turn in my own mother on something like that.”

In fact, Faith has been criticized for the way he handled Boney’s DNA, which was unidentified at the time.

Additionally, there were two State witnesses who Faith attempted to coerce to testify that they could not rule David out as a potential donor of the DNA and a potential match to the unidentified palm print on the Bronco (both are false claims and Faith was pressuring them to perjure themselves). First, DNA analyst Scamahorn testified during the second trial that Faith pressured her to testify that Camm could not be ruled out as a match to the DNA found on the sweatshirt. She refused.

A second prosecution witness, Jon Singleton was also pressured by Faith. Singleton examined the palm print found on the door of the Bronco and eliminated Camm as the match to that print.  Singleton testified in the second trial that Faith wanted him to say that he couldn’t eliminate David Camm as the donor of that print, much like he did with Scamahorn. Singleton also refused to comply and therefore wasn’t even called to testify during the first trial.  This is criminal.  Prosecutors are supposed to seek the truth, not coerce honest people into reporting inaccurate results to help them “win” a case.  It is appalling.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is much more to this.  Please keep an open mind about this case and take some time to read through the Justice for David Camm website. It will become obvious that not only did he receive two unfair trials, but he is clearly innocent and deserves to be set free.

I’ll be covering other items related to this case over the next several weeks.

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