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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Standing behind accused son, brother takes toll on Camm family members

It’s great to see an article about what the family of the accused has to deal with.  It’s easy for people to forget how much they suffer as they fight to free their loved one from a wrongful conviction.

By AMANDA BEAM newsroom@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY —

g000258000000000000acb5e234b0b5d21c89bd7403f6e20ea5c8a0fa93Every day, Donald Camm sits in a house of memories. Recollecting allows him to relax and smile. At times though, it can choke up the 82-year-old. Yet, as evidenced by the photos that surround his favorite living room chair, he wants to be reminded of them all the same. Several snapshots in particular summarize the life of the New Albany resident these past 13 years. On the wall, a young boy and small blonde-haired girl smile at the camera. Donald’s grandchildren Jill and Bradley remain frozen in time. Nothing in the photo foreshadowed the tragic fate that would befall the children and their mother Kim Camm. On the night of Sept. 28, 2000, all three were murdered in the garage of their Georgetown home. “When I look at those pictures, that’s how I’ll remember them until the day that I die,” Donald said, referring to a photo of Jill and Bradley that he keeps on his nightstand. “That’s the last way I’d seen them and that’s how I’ll always remember them.”

Close by the chair, placed carefully atop a statue of an angel, a picture of a man in a police uniform rests. Donald’s son David Camm looks to be in his 20s in the photo. This was before the arrests, convictions and reversals all began, in a time when David was known for more than just being an accused killer. Since the initial charges were levied in 2000, his father, sister and other family members have maintained David’s innocence. Two convictions later, one in 2002 and the other in 2006, their support has never wavered. After higher courts reversed both of these earlier decisions on appeal, the family now waits and watches as jury selection continues in David Camm’s third trial, set in Lebanon, 25 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

“I sat behind Dave through every day of the first trial. I did not miss,” Donald said. “I did the same thing in the second trial. I don’t know how this is going to work this time,” he added of the current trial, for which opening statements are set for this week.”

Defending a man accused of murder, even if it is his son, hasn’t always been easy on Donald. With chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and neuropathy in his legs and arms, the stress of the last decade has taken a toll on his physical health. His son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren are always on his mind.  They are the last thing he thinks about before his goes to sleep and the first thing that he remembers when he wakes.

“I can’t express losing them,” he said.

‘UNFINISHED BUSINESS’

g0002580000000000002689529e5c65d1c3fa45f3b1631c333f1e2fb4fbPeople sometimes forget that the Camm family also loved those who were killed. Talking about Kim, Jill and Bradley helps Donald grieve. He remembered how finding the moon with Bradley would always calm the infant he and his wife used to babysit. Jill, he said, tore through the room when she entered and grabbed his legs for a quick hug before she flew off “like a bumblebee.” And Kim, with her calm, sweet demeanor, could always surprise him with a funny reply and a twinkle in her eye.

Life has changed for all of the family since the murders. David’s sister, Julie Blankenbaker, spends her days mindfully editing what she says. Even though she no longer bears the Camm last name, she still remains aware of what others think of it. Now a Louisville resident, there’s no longer a pride felt for her name, her history or even her hometown. The trials, she said, took this away as well as other normal facets of everyday life.

“When we gather together, there’s this glaring elephant in the room that Dave and Kim and Brad and Jill aren’t there and Dave is in prison unjustly. You can’t have the whole group together and not feel that,” Blankenbaker said. “For us there’s this unfinished business. There’s not closure. We’re still fighting.”

Blankenbaker and her uncle, Sam Lockhart, try to protect their children and grandchildren from the negative fallout associated with their support of David. But with the media attention, even the youngest kids know something is different.

Comments made in passing in front of the children complicate the issue even more. Lockhart said people yell things at him from passing cars or make negative assertions behind his back, and his business has lost some clients from his association.

“I learned a long time ago I can’t control that, so I quit fighting that battle. I’ve got a more important battle to fight,” Lockhart said. “All I can do is control my efforts … I’ve committed to seeing justice done for those kids and Kim and David.”

Public reaction still makes the lives of Donald, Lockhart and Blankenbaker harder. Donald said some people glare when they learn his identity, or cringe when they hear his name. Through time, he’s acclimated himself to the animosity, but he still has a hard time understanding it.

Once, during a prison visit, Donald was speaking with another man in the visitor’s waiting room about a magazine article. The men conversed effortlessly until someone called out “Camm.”

“And [the man] looked at me just like the devil was shooting out of his eyes. He didn’t know me and, at that time, Dave hadn’t been to trial. He knew nothing of evidence. But that quick, he developed hate,” Donald said. “This hate, I don’t understand this hate.”

But the Camms can comprehend the emotional toll the trials have taken on all of those involved, including Kim’s family, the Renns. No one wants to cause this turmoil, Blankenbaker said. Still, it’s her belief that her brother is innocent, and she must help rectify this wrong.

“We’re not without sympathy for them because they lost the same people we lost and so we understand the value of those people and we understand the pain of that loss,” she said. “It just so happens that in addition to that loss, we feel the burden for the fight for justice for Dave and the justice for Kim and Brad and Jill.”

Even with their unwavering backing of David, hope for a different verdict is sometimes difficult to find for his father and Blankenbaker. Two previous trials have tempered their faith that David will ever be found not guilty and freed. The defense’s ability to present new evidence at this trial has helped to restore it some.

“I know they’re doing everything that they can and with the new evidence, I feel a confidence that Dave’s going to win,” Donald said. “Yet, we have felt confident before and so going at it a third time even knowing what we do, I can’t inside of me build up this little bit of hope. My hope is so thin”

Although his hope at times wavers, Donald continues to maintain his son’s innocence no matter what the cost.

“We as the Camm family and the Lockharts, we know Dave is innocent and we’re with him come hell and high water, bankruptcy, the whole works,” he said. “Whatever comes.”

http://newsandtribune.com/local/x865756902/Standing-behind-accused-son-brother-takes-toll-on-Camm-family-members

The Corrupt Investigation Of The Camm Murders

I’ve been researching questionable convictions for the past couple of years and most of them are filled with some level of official misconduct, but the Camm case ….. this is by far the worst I have ever seen and believe me, there are many tragic cases out there with innocent people suffering in prison.  As I write this, his 3rd trial is set to begin.  The State of Indiana is trying this man again despite an overwhelming amount of evidence that Charles Boney committed the murders on his own, or with help from his girlfriend, Mala Singh Mattingly.  I understand that prosecutors hate to be wrong for various reasons – political, financial, ego, etc., but typically when confronted with an overwhelming amount of evidence that they prosecuted the wrong person, most accept it and deal with it.  Not in this case – and the way they mishandled everything is shocking and appalling and should be embarrassing.  They should be ashamed!

I would like to describe as simply as possible some of the evidence and the way the investigators handled the investigation.  This will one day be an example of “what not to do”.

backbone_sweatshirt_1The facts about the sweatshirt:

  • The sweatshirt was found at the crime scene, on the garage floor
  • Unidentified DNA was on the item
  • Prosecutor Stan Faith told the defense that the DNA was run through CODIS but there was no match – this was a lie. It was never tested at all.
  • Boney’s DNA was entered into CODIS in 1997.  The Camm murders occurred in 2000, so therefore Boney should have been identified and investigated shortly after the crime!
  • David Camm was tried and convicted in 2002 with the sweatshirt having not been tested.  The prosecutors referenced it as “just an artifact”.

boney 2Defense prepares for Second Trial:

  • The defense requested that the State test the unidentified DNA on the sweatshirt.  They were finally compelled to do so and the DNA was found to be Charles Boney’s – February, 2005.
  • Investigators brought Boney in for questioning and informed him that his sweatshirt was found at the crime scene.
  • Boney agreed to take a stipulated polygraph – agreeing that the results could be used in court.
  • Boney failed the polygraph when asked questions about the shootings in Indiana – “Did you shoot them?” “Did you see who shot them”  ” Were you there when the shooting occurred”.
  • What did investigators do then?  They let him go!  They simply told him to call and check in every day.

kim's shoesBoney’s criminal background:

  • He attacked 5 female college students on a campus.  He would wear a mask or make-up and a sweatshirt and gloves.  He would then tackle them and steal one of their shoes.
  • He finally got caught and said it was a fraternity prank (but he wasn’t in a fraternity).
  • This is what he shared with police after admitting to the assaults.

During his post-arrest interview with an officer and detective of the Bloomington Police Department he also made some startling admissions, including the following:

  1. “This may seem strange, but I have a thing for ladies legs and feet.”
  2. “I never thought I would be caught…”
  3. He never assaulted a woman with a dress.
  4. He didn’t know any of his victims.
  5. He chose his victims by attacking those with nice legs.
  6. All of his victims who wore pants had nice legs…he could tell they had nice legs even if he couldn’t see their legs.
  7. He acknowledged that he “creeped around and scared” some of his victims before he attacked them.
  8. The intent of all five attacks was to steal a shoe.
  9. He always wore sweats during his attacks.
  10. He had an “escape plan”: he was going to take off his sweatshirt and sweatpants and put them into his backpack in order to not match the description of the assailant which would be given by the victim.
  • He served only a few months for these attacks

Boney’s crimes escalated:

  • Boney wrote some bad checks and violated his probation so he had to serve 2 years in prison.
  • When he got out he committed armed robbery of two employees at an apartment complex.
  • Then he held 3 college students at gunpoint at an apartment complex, forced them into their rooms, rifled through their belongings and demanded money.

He became particularly incensed after he saw the photograph of the uniformed Indiana State Trooper father of one of the victim’s roommates which was sitting on an entertainment center in the living room, telling the three that he hated cops as he slammed the photograph onto the top of the structure.

  • Then he took them at gunpoint to one of the victim’s car and demanded they get in and they were told they would be taken to an ATM machine and then released.  Luckily the police arrived then.
  • From the website: Boney’s three violent crimes, all committed within five weeks after his release from prison, also had two striking commonalities. They all involved the use of a loaded handgun and the commandeered use of a vehicle.Additionally, for the period October, 1988 through October, 1992, Boney exhibited a distinctive pattern of behavior when committing his crimes:
  1. His crime sprees began in early Fall.
  2. He committed his crimes in or adjacent to vehicles and/or parking lots.
  3. Boney walked to the crime scene.
  4. His victims were white females, close in age to Boney.
  5. He tackled some of his victims and drove them to the ground, injuring their ankles, knees, wrists, and/or hands.
  6. His victims were often assaulted in the face or head.
  7. Only one victim was ever interviewed by investigators involved in the Camm case.
  8. In total, Boney had assaulted 13 women.

Of greater concern, however, was the fact that Boney’s violence had escalated and his concern for anonymity had declined during the same four-year period:

  1. After initially wearing disguises, he later failed to try and hide his identity.
  2. He no longer wore a mask or facial makeup to disguise himself.
  3. Witnesses were present during Boney’s last crimes.
  4. He did not wear gloves after losing one glove at the scene of his first crime.
  5. He touched items during the robberies with his bare hands, apparently not caring if he left fingerprints.
  6. He progressed from physical assaults to using a loaded gun.
  7. His threats grew more and more violent during the crimes and he became more and more agitated the longer the crimes took.
  8. He threatened to shoot his victims in the head.
  9. He tried to abduct five women.
  10. The number of victims during each crime grew from one during his initial shoe theft to three during his last armed robbery.
  • Boney was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1993, wrote an apologetic letter to a judge and he was released in 2000.
  • Just months later, the Camm murders took place.

hendersonInvestigators “cleared” Boney

  • Boney supplied investigators with a list of alibis for the day in question – they failed to verify them.
  • Boney told them that the sweatshirt found at the crime scene had been placed in a Goodwill bin – this was impossible to verify as there were no surveillance cameras present.
  • He failed a polygraph – this was not publicly reported
  • There is no police report of an interview with his fiancee, though there is mention of a brief meeting.
  • They failed to thoroughly interview all of the people closest to him.
  • THIS IS HOW THE PROSECUTION CLEARED BONEY

palm printFour days later

  • The palm print on Kim’s Bronco was identified as Boney’s.
  • Investigators brought Boney in for questioning again and worded their questions in such a way that it gave him an out – gave him the ability to blame Camm to clear himself.
  • Example – Investigators said “What did Boney see?”
  • Prior to this in previous “interrogations” they supplied him with tidbits that would later be used – they suggested that a “dirty” or “untraceable” gun was obtained and that possibly it was “wrapped” in the sweatshirt – investigators words, not Boneys.
  • At one point, Boney said he wanted to speak to a lawyer – he asked to see Faith.
  • The recording device was shut off for 90 minutes
  • After that, it was turned back on and Boney had agreed to write a statement about what happened.

Conveniently, his statement covered all the loose ends for investigators – such as how the palm print got on the Bronco, how the sweatshirt made it to the crime scene, etc.

This is what Boney told the defense investigator 4 days prior to writing the statement:

boney basketball defense

This is what he included in his statement just after the palm print match was identified:

boney statement

He also had this to say in his defense interview, but the prosecutors didn’t think it was significant.

Boney at the scene confession

Camm flowchartIt is inconceivable how all of this was able to play out this way over the course of the past 13 years.  No one stepped in and investigated them.  No one put a stop to it.  David Camm has been stuck in the system, going through lengthy appeal after appeal to try to prove his innocence.  All the while the information is there for all to see, staring us right in the face. Yet the prosecution continues to obstruct justice by attempting to bar new DNA evidence placing Boney in physical contact now with the victims?  It’s time for them to stop this insanity and let David Camm go.  Save the taxpayers money, admit that they made many costly mistakes and be done with it.

New DNA Evidence Proves Camm’s Innocence As 3rd Trial Is Set To Begin

camm_familyFor those unfamiliar with the specifics of this case, it’s a complex case filled with the most egregious prosecutorial misconduct one could imagine.  The actions of public officials in the state of Indiana have impacted David Camm, his family, Kim’s family, supporters, friends and the entire community in ways that could never be quantified.  It’s been going on for 13 long years with much needless suffering, and it’s not over.  Camm’s 3rd trial is set to begin with jury selection currently underway.  Many have written articles about the case, including myself.  Here is a summary I put together last year that highlights most of the key points.

Though new evidence recently surfaced that further implicates the real killer, Charles Boney, I’m dismayed to see that so many people have their minds made up about Camm, believing that he is guilty.  People reason that since he was after all convicted twice for murder, surely he must be guilty.  Could two juries get it wrong?  The answer is yes but had it been an honest and thorough investigation from the start, Camm would have never even been indicted for the murders.  Once a corrupt investigation begins, it snowballs and becomes very difficult for the truth to be revealed.  They have the press on their side and whatever is reported is imprinted in people’s minds.  They remember the information and it doesn’t matter that it’s not factual.  The innuendo put out there by the State is all that people remember.

Do people know?

  • That there was evidence placing Boney at the crime scene from the beginning – the sweatshirt with is DNA on it, and his palm print – but that the State said they ran the DNA through CODIS but didn’t get a match when in fact they had never even tested it at all?
  • That it was the defense who finally pushed to have the sweatshirt tested 5 long years later and that their insistence to do so is what finally revealed the killer’s identity – Charles Boney?
  • That Prosecutor Stan Faith had a close friendship with Boney’s mother and that he also assisted Boney with his legal issues from his many arrests?
  • That Faith likely would have known that “Backbone” written on the sweatshirt would have belonged to Boney and that is quite likely the reason he chose not to test it and instead to pin this on Camm?
  • That Boney could be Faith’s son? It would explain why someone would go to such lengths to protect this man. I have no evidence but it certainly would make sense.
  • That Faith attempted to coerce a chemist into testifying at the first trial that Camm could not be ruled out as the owner of prints left at the scene – but that she was honest and refused to go along with it?
  • That evidence from the Camm’s home was “lost” – a shower curtain with blood on it and a condom from the septic tank – never to be tested because they vanished?
  • That there is no evidence whatsoever linking Camm to Boney in any way – no phone calls, no emails, no witnesses ever seeing them together?
  • That Boney had a long history of assaulting women?
  • That Boney had a foot fetish and that Kim’s shoes were placed on the hood of the Bronco?
  • That in every other known murder case in history, when DNA shows up that places a person at the scene they become a suspect and are fully investigated?
  • That the prosecutor’s preferred to concoct a story that the sweatshirt must have appeared at the scene because Boney sold Camm a gun – rather than admit they were wrong from the beginning to ever prosecute Camm?
  • That prosecutors spent long hours grilling Boney and finally the story was created that kept Boney off of death row and kept Camm on the hook?
  • That the “story” has no backing?  That it isn’t substantiated with one piece of evidence?
  • That the only evidence the prosecutors continue to hold onto – alleged high velocity blood spatter – 8 tiny droplets of blood on his shirt has cost them $300K in experts but that it’s considered junk science?
  • That Camm was playing basketball with 10 other people at the alleged time of death and that their statements have never wavered?
  • That according to the State’s theory, Camm would have had only about 15 minutes to drive home, commit the murders and drive back to the church for the second game?
  • That none of the other players reported that he was sweating or panting or stressed in any way?  (Because he never in fact left the gym).
  • That this alibi could not have possibly been planned in advance because it was unknown if they would even have enough players to get a game going that evening?
  • That there is new DNA evidence – Boney’s DNA on the victims’ clothing – he touched the victims…there is no doubt now.

Knowing that a 3rd trial was approaching and having thoroughly studied this case, I was puzzled about how they were going to approach this since we know that they can’t go after his character by bringing up past affairs or alleged sexual assault.  The appeals court overturned both convictions due to this as it likely had a direct influence on the verdicts. This is the only case I’m aware of where the killer (Boney) has already been convicted and is serving time for the murders – yet they continue to go after the husband … because of what? Because of 8 tiny drops of blood that he likely got on his shirt as he lifted his son out of the vehicle upon finding his family murdered in his garage?  It’s criminal that they continue to pursue Camm because they are afraid of the backlash of admitting that they screwed up and wasted millions of tax dollars prosecuting the wrong man.

But in the past several weeks there’s been a huge break in the case, something that I believe is so big that I am quite honestly shocked that the State hasn’t dropped all charges against Camm once and for all.  His amazing defense team sent some other clothing items from the scene for more sensitive DNA testing known as “touch” or mitochondrial DNA – which is basically just very sensitive testing from skin cells that were in contact with the items.  It turns out that Boney’s DNA was found on Jill’s shirt and on Kim’s panties and I believe her shirt as well.  Remember that the State’s theory was that Boney’s role in this was simply that he sold Dave the murder weapon and happened to be there when the shootings occurred, and that he only got away because the gun jammed when Dave allegedly turned it on him?

Now the story will need to change again to keep Camm involved – how will they do it?  I can’t even imagine a scenario where Camm is present when this animal is attacking his family as we now know for certain that Boney’s hands were on the victims. Enough is enough.  More and more people will learn the truth about this case – what the State of Indiana has done to David Camm.  I am hopeful that he will be acquitted but I’m going to continue to find ways to get the facts out there until this is over.  I was worried because the prosecutor actually tried to bar the DNA evidence from the trial but the judge ruled that the evidence is admissible and I take that as a good indication that this is an honest Judge. Support for David Camm continues to grow.  For all the facts about this case, please visit justicefordavidcamm.com.

BPA5

Summary video

Boney’s lies

More Support For David Camm

I’m pleased to share this article about a Criminal Justice Student at Indiana University who has taken on a very worthy cause of sharing the facts about this case with others.  As you’re aware I’m absolutely convinced of David’s innocence and I’m happy to see that others are seeing the same thing.  This is clearly one of the worst wrongful conviction cases that I’ve come across and we all must hope that justice will finally be served and that he will be acquitted at his trial this Summer.

SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: Clearing Camm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Two juries convicted him, but there’s a new effort to free David Camm. Now the former state trooper’s future could depend on a group of college students.

Jordan Hochgesang is a senior criminal justice major at Indiana University, and he is on a mission — not with a class assignment or preparing for graduation. Instead, he’s passing out flyers he hopes will clear Camm’s name and maybe even save his life. “This guy has been wrongfully convicted for the past 12 years,” he says, “and we’re just trying to get the word out.”

The case: former Indiana State Trooper David Camm.  Hochgesang says, “I took a wrongful convictions class and the David Camm case came about.” That’s when the case piqued his interest. “I don’t think David Camm is guilty,” he says.

Since then, he and some of his classmates have been working with licensed private investigator Bill Clutter and a non-profit organization called Investigating Innocence. It’s an extension of the Innocence Project, which has played a part in overturning more than 300 wrongful convictions.

Hochgesang says, “A lot of people became interested because they realize how this guy is in jail and he is innocent.”

Clutter, a Certified Criminal Defense says he’s been involved with investigating criminal cases since 1985. He has helped free several wrongly convicted inmates in the last 20 years, and he wants to do the same for Camm.

“I started delving into the (Camm) case about a year ago,” Clutter said.

Camm has twice been convicted of killing his wife, Kim, and their two children, Brad and Jill, in the garage of their home in Georgetown, Indiana in September of 2000.

“He is the ultimate victim,” Clutter says. “I mean, he lost his wife and two children and then he lost his liberty. I mean, it doesn’t get any worse than that.”

Clutter refutes the evidence that helped convict Camm. A bloodstain analysis expert determined Camm was near his daughter when she was shot.

“It was actually in my training to be a bloodstain expert,” Clutter says.

The bloodstain evidence has been strongly disputed by defense expert witnesses. Ironically, it’s that argument that got Clutter’s attention.

“And the discussion was that this had given, really, a black eye to the profession because of the controversy of some of the opinions that it helped convict David Camm,” Clutter said.

Both of Camm’s convictions have been overturned by higher courts, and from the beginning, he has maintained his innocence.

“David Camm has 11 alibis from playing basketball,” Hochgesang says.

All 11 of those men swore in court that Camm was playing basketball with them at the time his family was murdered.

“It was persuasive that he was playing basketball,” Clutter says. “He had an absolute alibi for the time of death that occurred.”

But that’s not the only thing that convinced Clutter and his students. After looking at all the evidence, they visited Camm in person.

“We met for about two and a half hours, and he is a real humble guy,” Hochgesang says.

So if Camm didn’t kill his family, who did?

“Let me just say this about Charles Boney: he is a notorious liar,” Clutter says.

During Camm’s second trial, DNA evidence on a sweatshirt connected career criminal Charles Boney to the case. Hochgesang points out, “His (Boney’s) sweatshirt was left at the crime scene. Along with it, the name tag Backbone — that was his moniker when he was in jail.”

Boney’s arrest doesn’t clear Camm; it just makes the case more complicated. Boney tells authorities he met the former trooper playing basketball and that both were at the crime scene.

Hochgesang says, “All the things left at the crime scene is what makes me believe that Charles Boney is guilty.”  Clutter adds, “You know, combined with, you know, Charles Boney’s M.O., it’s pretty compelling evidence. And then you look at the physical evidence.”

That includes the sweatshirt, as well as Boney’s palm print on the family Bronco, and Kim’s shoes on top of the car inside the garage where the family was killed.  Clutter says, “When you look at the physical evidence tying him to this crime, it’s very compelling.”

So far, two prosecutors and perhaps dozens of police have looked at the same evidence and see it differently.

‘Based upon the evidence that I know, I feel he is guilty,” says Stan Faith, Camm’s first prosecutor.

Faith got the first guilty verdict against David Camm and says not much has changed since. He even explains the testimony of the 11 witnesses who swear Camm never left the gym.

Faith says, “I don’t think eyewitnesses lie. They just have a misperception. They think they see more or they have a viewpoint that creates their testimony.”

Clutter says, “When you have police and prosecutors who get it wrong, they’re very reluctant to admit it, and they’re resistant to any evidence that tends to prove them wrong.” (link)

Copyright 2013 WDRB News.  All Rights Reserved.

David Camm’s alibi

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:

Q.   Were the basketball players relatives of David and did they lie?

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.

The chart below lists all the different types of scientific evidence currently being presented in trials.  Please note how blood pattern analysis is rated versus DNA.

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.

The wrongful conviction of David Camm

David Camm is currently in prison awaiting a 3rd trial for the murder of his wife and two children. What he has been subjected to throughout the investigation and trials is simply incredible and has been an enormous injustice.

In September, 2000 David arrived home from a basketball game, pulled into the driveway and noticed the garage door was open.  When he entered the garage he found his family had been shot to death in the garage. Three days later he was arrested for the murders.  Despite having a solid alibi and no evidence linking him to the murders, he was tried and convicted twice largely due to prosecutorial misconduct, junk science, inadmissible evidence presented and character assassination.

Both convictions were overturned on appeal, due to the judge’s rulings that inadmissible evidence was presented.  Yet the overzealous prosecutor continues to pursue a conviction against him. And the inadmissible evidence caused the prosecutor to have to find a new “motive” for the murders in the second trial. I suppose this time they will have to come up with a third motive.

The first trial occurred in early 2002. The evidence presented:

  • Life Insurance – Prosecutor Orth told the jury that Camm took out $500,000 worth of insurance policies on his wife and two children, one policy only two months before the murders. Defense attorneys countered that only $150,000 of the policy was for Kim Camm, $250,000 was for David Camm and the rest was for the children. Kim, an accountant, was the one in charge of securing the life insurance, mostly on Dave, because he had lost his group policy when he left the Indiana State Police.
  • A 7:19PM phone call that prosecutors state Camm placed from home near the time of the shootings. During the trial the phone representative clarified that an error had been detected and the phone call was actually placed at 6:19PM (the time that Camm claimed he made the call, before leaving for the game).
  • Although 11 people saw Camm at a basketball game either playing or watching the entire time in question, prosecutors claim that he must have left the game, went home and killed his family and then returned to the game! However, during the one game that he sat out, a church elder spoke with him the entire time.  Not one person has ever wavered in their statements that he was there, that they never saw him leave, and never missed him at all.
  • Past affairs – the prosecutors made this part of the trial even though Camm wasn’t presently involved in an affair and it had no relevance whatsoever.  It was character assassination, nothing more. In fact, other former co-workers also engaged in such adulterous behavior and were a part of the same State Police Post which conducted the investigation. The first conviction would ultimately be overturned based on this.
  • Blood spatter – the blood spatter evidence seemed to contribute the most to his conviction, even though the defense expert testified that the blood found on his clothing was contact, not high velocity spatter.  It turns out that the State’s so called expert had never even handled a homicide investigation and long after the trial admitted he had fabricated his alleged expertise, education, and qualifications.  In fact, he hadn’t even attended the elementary 40 hour introductory bloodstain course which one evidence technican claimed would only make a person “dangerous” when rendering a blood stain interpretation.    He admitted he was only sent to the scene in order to take photographs and make notes.
  • Prosecutors were involved in the crime scene evidence just after the murder. A lot of the evidence was lost and nobody was ever held accountable for it, including a shower curtain in the house, away from the murder scene, which had the appearance of a blood stain and two condoms in the septic tank; the Camms never used condoms.
  • A sweatshirt was found at the scene, near the young boy.  Foreign DNA was found on the shirt but prosecutors did nothing to try to identify the origin of it and simply ignored this piece of evidence. When the defense found unknown DNA on the collar of the sweatshirt, the defense attorney asked the prosecutor to compare that DNA to the national CODIS database containing the DNA of convicted violent felons.  The prosecutor claimed there was no match when, in fact, no such search was conducted.

Despite Camm’s alibi and offsetting blood spatter “experts”, the jury returned a guilty verdict after 4 days of deliberations.  The jury had this to say:

One of the jurors who initially wasn’t convinced of Camm’s guilt.”I’m not going to say there’s not any doubt — there’s always going to be some doubt,” Kimbley said.Alcock reported that Kimbley was one of the last two jurors to vote guilty. Another juror, who didn’t wish to be identified, told Alcock that the intitial jury poll, right after they were given the case Friday, was 8-4 in favor of convicting Camm. By Sunday, the jurors stood at 10-2 in favor of convicting Camm.That’s when jurors told Judge Richard Striegel that they could not reach a decision.The jurors went on a dinner break, deliberated for several more hours, and then came back with a guilty verdict.”There was a lot of high emotions and there were times when people were very emphatic in their beliefs,” Kimbley (pictured, right) said. “The very most incriminating thing was the blood stains.”

So Camm was basically convicted due to one inexperienced person’s opinion of blood stain patterns on the shirt he was wearing that night.  But the alternative and likely explanation for the blood found on his shirt was that he got blood on his shirt through contact with his daughter’s hair when he retrieved his son from the back seat of the vehicle in order to render CPR.  His son, unlike his daughter and wife, wasn’t shot through the head. Additionally, the defense expert’s opinion makes more sense because they were 8 tiny droplets and they were not in a uniform pattern.  To shoot a person at close range, one would expect a massive amount of blood spatter to be present on the clothing.

How is anyone to believe that he left a basketball game, drove home, shot his family and then returned to the game still wearing the bloody t-shirt, but nobody at the game noticed the blood?  It doesn’t make any sense.  Certainly the statements from the 11 people who saw him that night should have superseded any “opinion” on the blood stains. To suggest that all 11 people are lying is unreasonable. These are 11 people from the community and the prosecutor somehow dismisses all of their statements AND the jury somehow is convinced to convict him.  How can that be?

In fact, the first prosecution story was the murders occurred after Camm returned home but they were forced to change that when the blood serum separation from the head wound of Kim Camm indicated the murders had to occur during the basketball games.  Thus, the players, who had told the truth during the first prosecution theory, were now liars when the prosecution changed their theory the murders occurred during the games.  In short, the basketball players all had to lie in anticipation of the prosecutor changing his story.

This conviction was overturned on appeal a little over two years later, in August ’04.  The judge stated that the affairs had no place in the trial.  The Indiana AG tried to get the conviction reinstated but the supreme court ruled against it.

In November ’04 the new prosecutor, Henderson made the decision to retry the case with “a fresh set of eyes”.  He claimed to have evidence from a jailhouse informant who stated that Camm admitted his guilt to him.  He also brought up allegations that Camm may have molested his daughter as a motive for the murders.  Of course, it didn’t matter that there was absolutely nothing to back up this claim.

The prosecutor claimed the “fresh eyes” would re-cover everything and be independent of the first investigation.  The lead detective of the “fresh eyes” was also a State Police Detective who would but work part-time on the case and never had any forensic evidence submitted for testing or matching prior to issuing his conclusion in the form of a “new” affidavit.

The “fresh eyes” detective included the same refuted allegation that a 7:19 p.m. call was made from the Camm residence; they were still using “evidence” which didn’t exist.

In preparation for a new trial, the defense team requested DNA testing on the sweatshirt that had the unknown male DNA on it.  In February, ’05 the DNA was found to match a man by the name of Charles Boney.  I’m going to copy portions of the Justice for David Camm website to describe the details about this newly identified suspect.

Three days after his sweatshirt and DNA was identified, Boney was found to be living in Louisville, less than 25 minutes from the Camm residence. At the time of the murders, he was living with his mother, who later admitted that she had sent him on errands to a nearby meat store which also happened to be owned by Kim’s sister and brother-in-law and which Kim and the kids frequented on a routine basis.

Boney was soon interviewed by the police and claimed that he had numerous people who could alibi him for the afternoon and evening of September 28, 2000. The police accepted his story even though the critical alibi witnesses weren’t interviewed and even though Boney had failed a stipulated polygraph examination as to his involvement in the murders. The polygraph examiner who administered the polygraph to Boney acknowledged that the “Fresh Eyes” investigators were both surprised and shocked at the results.

What happened next will astonish many people. At a press conference on February 28, 2005, Boney was defended by the prosecutors. They claimed that his story about giving the BACKBONE sweatshirt to the Salvation Army after his release from prison had checked out. They insisted that David Camm was still the one who was responsible for the murders of his family. As to an 11-time convicted felon who assaulted women, robbed women, kidnapped women at gunpoint and who threatened to blow their brains out, he was regarded by the prosecutors as simply having his sweatshirt show up at the crime scene through no fault of his own. Nothing was said to the public about Boney’s failed polygraph or the failure to verify his false alibi witnesses.

Deputy prosecutor Steve Owen asked this question at the same press conference, “What do you think? Mr. Boney’s going to come out of jail, go to somebody’s house in Georgetown, brutally murder three people and say, ‘Oh, I think I’ll take off my sweatshirt that I got from (the Department Of Corrections) and lay it down here by the blood (boy). Does that make sense to anybody?” Owen said it didn’t make sense to him, but it sure made sense to a lot of people that an enraged, violent person, engaged in a sexual assault of a woman, who then shot and killed her and her two children, just might leave evidence at the scene of a crime. After all, Boney had left his property and fingerprints at previous crime scenes.

The defense tried to get the prosecutors to act and filed a motion for Judge Aylsworth to authorize an arrest warrant for Boney. That failed. Boney’s identity and the fact that his sweatshirt had been linked to the crime scene (and prior to the defense being advised that his DNA had been identified) was leaked to the press, presumably by someone in the prosecutor’s office, and Boney was in the process of giving an exclusive interview to a Louisville television station.

Boney was found and then quickly interviewed by a retired FBI Agent who was working for the defense. During the videotaped interview of Boney, he was caught in numerous lies and he claimed that nothing more of his would be found at the crime scene, including other DNA or his fingerprints. In fact, he stated that if anything else of his other than his sweatshirt was found at the scene it would be obvious that he murdered the family.

Weeks after Boney was first interviewed and when the police took his finger and palm prints, the unknown palm print was finally compared to that of Boney. It was a match. It was therefore “obvious” that he was the murderer. Only the police still thought that David Camm was involved, due to the “compelling” evidence of blood spatter, according to Detective Gilbert. The prosecution and the investigators weren’t giving up on Camm being involved.

The “Fresh Eyes,” however, were compelled to arrest Boney. After his arrest and initial interview, he was allowed to be alone for several hours in order to compile a written statement. His assertions quickly changed, however, and at the end of the post-arrest interviews, the investigators told Boney that his story was a “crock of shit.”

After that first round of interviews, ISP Detective Myron Wilkerson, a distant relative of the Boney’s, found Boney’s mother and sister and, according to them, told them that they needed Boney to sign a “conspiracy note.” Boney’s sister was allowed to meet twice with her brother, including a contact visit, prior to his next interview. It was obvious that the ISP and the prosecutor needed to link Boney and Camm together and they were trying to get Boney to provide information of a “conspiracy” between he and Camm.

It took over 30 hours of interrogations and changing and contradictory stories for Boney to finally provide a story that was the stuff of fairy tales, saying that he only sold a gun to David Camm which was used in the murders. Nothing of what Boney said, including when and how he supposedly met Dave, where he obtained the gun, and other aspects of his story have ever been corroborated. Nothing of what he said could be construed as the two conspiring with one another. Boney put the murders all on Camm.

Parts of the interrogations of Boney are chilling, however. He was told by Wilkerson that he was an “opportunist” whose “best scenario is to be a witness.” He was further told that David Camm had an alibi which was “gonna be a problem.” Wilkerson told Boney that his goal was to keep Boney alive. Boney was given a stark choice. He could be a witness or face the death penalty. Incriminate Camm or die were his options. He chose the option that kept him alive. It was clear to many that the death penalty was spared in exchange for Boney incriminating Camm.

Another astounding facet to the Boney interviews is the fact that critical parts of Boney’s written statement and later his stories were first provided by the authorities. It was Wayne Kessinger, one of Henderson’s investigators, who first suggested to Boney that the gun was “dirty” or “untraceable” and that he might have had it wrapped in his sweatshirt. Boney later incorporated those two aspects with his story that after he bought the untraceable gun, he wrapped it in his sweatshirt prior to giving it to Camm.

What else did Boney claim? He said that he first met Dave in July, 2000, at a local park where they were playing full-court basketball. In addition to the ten players there were several others present as onlookers. How many witnesses were found that saw the two together? None. There were no witnesses.

Boney also claimed that he and Dave never spoke on the telephone but met in front of a convenience store immediately adjacent to Karem’s Meat Market owned by Kim’s sister. It was there that Dave spoke to him about getting a gun and later where the gun was provided. That’s smart. Meet and talk with a convicted felon and obtain a gun in a busy parking lot of a business owned by your sister-in-law where you’re well-known. As one might guess, there were no witnesses.

Boney also said that he knew that Dave was a former ISP trooper but that Dave trusted him enough, after ten minutes of conversation, to ask him to find him a gun. That contradicts Boney’s other statements to many others, including the defense investigator, that he would never trust a cop.

Dave agreed to a price of $250, but there was no discussion as to what make, model, caliber or type of gun. Boney claimed that he went to his long-time acquaintance, Larry Gerkin, who lived in Louisville, and purchased a .380. Wayne Kessinger, who spent 30 years with the Louisville Metro Police, was unsuccessful in finding Gerkin, much less identifying him. Gerkin was probably just a quick figment of Boney’s imagination. (One should ask why he would lie about the identify of the real source of the gun, however.)

After claiming that he sold Dave one gun on the afternoon of the murders, which was delivered in the same Karem’s parking lot, Boney claimed that he followed Dave to his house. For 15 or more minutes, he followed Dave home, but he couldn’t remember the vehicle that Dave was driving, thinking that it was a LeSabre. Dave, of course, drove a white pickup truck. Boney did recall, in the span only seeing Kim’s Bronco for mere moments, that her car had an FOP sticker on the license. Boney then said that he was outside the garage next to his car when Kim and the kids pulled into the driveway. He said he then heard three pops and Dave walked outside the garage and confronted him.

Incredibly, Boney also claimed that Dave then tried to kill him but that the gun jammed. Boney said Dave then ran into the house from the garage, presumably, according to Boney, to get another gun to kill him. Dave, a former SWAT member, panicked when a gun jammed and ran away was Boney’s story. Ask any law enforcement officer, or better yet, a SWAT member, how long it takes to remove a jam in a semi-automatic handgun. Mere seconds will be the answer.

Rather than fleeing the scene after Camm tried to kill him, Boney then said he followed behind Camm and walked into the garage. He said that he then tripped over Kim’s shoes and that he leaned down, picked them up and placed them neatly on top of the car. He then leaned into the vehicle and looked to see what was inside because of “curiosity.” That’s when his palm print was deposited on the door jamb, as he was looking in at Jill and Brad.

It was only then that he decided that it was time to leave. As he was driving away, however, he saw in his rear-view mirror a woman in a vehicle that looked like a state owned Crown Victoria. Boney was trying to incriminate a female trooper associate of Dave’s. She had previously been eliminated as a suspect because when the crimes had occurred, she was with friends eating a late dinner. (The new investigators suggested that she take a polygraph as to her possible involvement. She passed the polygraph.)

Boney’s story is not supported by any witnesses, any records, any documents, or any other corroboration at all. It is his unsupported story, fostered by the need to have him incriminate David Camm, which he finally provided. The story is that of a person who knew he had to incriminate David Camm in order to escape the death penalty, which he did. His stories were labeled by the police investigators as a “crock of shit” and as a “story of convenience” but they finally had him incriminating Camm.

After several interviews the police finally had Boney incriminating Camm. What happened next? Prosecutor Henderson dropped the charges against Dave which were pending in Warrick County. For a little over an hour the Camm and Lockhart families thought that justice finally had been achieved. They didn’t know that Henderson had already drafted another new probable cause affidavit, the third one, against Dave.

On March 9, 2005, David Camm was, for the third time, charged with the murder of his family. This was the prosecution’s fourth theory. Lead “Fresh Eyes” investigator Gary Gilbert swore under oath that Dave not only committed the murders but that he and Boney conspired with one another to commit murder. Boney didn’t provide any “evidence” of such a conspiracy. There were no witnesses, no documents, no records, and no connection whatsoever between the two.

Many wrongful convictions have been overturned based on new DNA evidence that was located at or near the scene of the murder but for whatever reason was never tested.  But in this case, prosecutors found a way to manipulate this suspect into implicating Camm by giving him the choice of incriminating Camm or facing the death penalty.  It is astounding.  David Camm had an airtight alibi at the time of the murder, confirmed by 11 witnesses who have never wavered in their statements. This combined with identification of the real killer, a gunman who attacked women at night, and who had a sexual fetish for shoes, by all logic should have resulted in an exoneration for Camm.

In January, 2006 Boney was tried and convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and three counts of first degree murder. The conspiracy “evidence” was based upon the deductions of one of the detectives who interviewed Boney, even though no records, documents, or witnesses were produced putting Camm and Boney together at any time.  The only one who claimed that the two knew one another was Boney and his stories changed each time he was interviewed.

Camm’s 2nd trial was taking place in a different town at the same time as Boney’s trial.  The jury never got to hear that Boney was convicted of the murders.  And they never got to hear the details of his past criminal actions that were entirely consistent with the attack of Kim Camm. The jury wasn’t allowed to hear any of Boney’s many changing and contradictory statements, listen, or view any of his interrogations.

Interesting testimony at this second trial came from a forensic expert for the prosecution in the first trial.  She testified that the prosecutor tried to convince her to testify that Camm’s DNA was found on the sweatshirt but she refused.

A forensic scientist was reduced to tears while recalling an encounter with the former prosecutor in the case, WLKY NewsChannel 32’s Julia Harding reported. Lynn Scamahorn took the stand and recalled a conversation with Stan Faith, who got a conviction of Camm the first time around in 2002.

Scamahorn told the jury that in 2002, Faith tried to get her to change her testimony about DNA evidence on Boney’s sweatshirt found at the crime scene. She testified that DNA was found belonging to Boney, his girlfriend — Mala Singh Mattingly — Kim Camm and Brad Camm, Harding reported.Scamahorn said Tuesday that Faith wanted her to say that David Camm’s DNA also was on the sweatshirt. She refused, and said her job was threatened when Faith told her that her refusal could be a Class D obstruction of justice.Scamahorn went on to say that Faith yelled and swore at her. When asked if it upset her at the time, Scamahorn started to cry on the stand.”Any attempt to influence her in any way to say something that’s not the complete truth is relevant, and the jury needs to hear it,” Uliana said.But when he was reached for comment Tuesday, Faith told WLKY that he didn’t swear at Scamahorn or threaten her job.

So first they continue to go after Camm, despite having successfully prosecuted Boney for the murders, and now this coercion of an expert witness becomes known. This shows how far prosecutors were willing to go to convict him.  But that’s not all. Tom Bevel (blood spatter “expert”) also testifed at Camm’s second trial that the blood on Camm’s shirt had to come from high velocity spatter and that he had to be present when the victims were shot.  This was countered by defense experts Paul Kish and Bart Epstein who asserted that the blood was transferred to his clothing by contact when he found the bodies.  Remember that prosecutors allege that Camm left the basketball game to go home and do the shootings.  Common sense tells you that he couldn’t possibly have returned to the game in bloody clothing!  Yet, there is no explanation offered about that.

Tom Bevel’s expertise is currently under scrutiny in the Horinek case and experts have shown that Bevel’s findings are incorrect. It turns out that his findings are also questionable in a number of other cases. Many believe that blood spatter evidence is junk science because it is so subjective.  It’s disturbing that so many people have been convicted soley on this, but the jury obviously believed Bevel and despite the conviction of the real murderer (Boney), David Camm was again found guilty of the murders.

The trial judge at Camm’s trial was forced to dismiss the conspiracy charge when the prosecutors failed to produce any linkage whatsoever between Camm and Boney.

During the trial, graphic photographs of all the victims were shown to the jury, including photographs of Jill’s genitalia, which had non-specific, blunt force trauma to the exterior genitalia.  It was impossible to determine the source of the injuries but the likelihood they had been present prior to the night of her death was extremely unlikely.  The day of her death, Jill had been a very athletically active little girl at school, dance class, and at her brother’s swim practice.  One of the prosecutor’s medical examiners initially claimed that such an injury would have “hurt like hell” and been impossible for Jill not to complain about.  That examiner later changed her story at trial.

(Also not told to the jury was the story from Boney’s first wife.  She told of returning home one day to find Boney slapping and hitting their one-year old son.  Boney had a history of abusing a child and admitted, according to another witness, that when he got angry he would fly into a rage and literally see white, not knowing what he was doing.)

Regardless, the prosecutor claimed, without any evidence and without any linkage between those injuries and her father, that Camm was responsible and was a molester.  The stain stuck.  When explaining their guilty verdicts, the jury foreman stated the molestation was a “key factor” in reaching their verdicts.

Again the conviction was overturned on appeal.  This time it was due to prosecutors making the unfounded accusations that Camm molested his daughter.  That was the alleged motive in trial number 2 since prosecutors were forbidden from using the affairs again.

The Indiana Supreme Court has thrown out the murder convictions of a former state trooper in the deaths of his wife and two children and ordered a new trial.

David Camm has twice been convicted for the killings, but the court in a 4-1 ruling released Friday said the judge in the retrial improperly allowed prosecutors to raise the prospect that he had molested his daughter despite not presenting evidence he had done so.

But Camm’s nightmare still wasn’t over.  The AG requested a re-hearing of the appeal:

The Indiana Supreme Court won’t reconsider its ruling that overturned the murder convictions against a former state trooper accused of killing his wife and two young children.The court voted 3-2 Monday to deny the attorney general’s request for a rehearing of David Camm’s appeal.

In 2009 prosecutors made the decision to try Camm a 3rd time.  But the prosecutor, Keith Henderson had been working on a book deal which, according to Camm’s attorneys, violated Indiana rules and ethics.

Camm attorney Stacy Uliana wants a special prosecutor appointed because Henderson struck a deal to write a book about the case.”There’s no book deal,” Henderson said. “There was, and it would be my hope in the future there will be.”

Henderson saw nothing standing in his way in pursuing a third conviction against Camm for the deaths of his wife and their two children.”Once the conviction of David Camm occurred in March of 2006, my representation ended with the state of Indiana in the Camm case,” Henderson said. He said he called off the book deal when the Indiana Supreme Court overturned Camm’s conviction in June. But Uliana contends Henderson never stopped representing the state of Indiana.

“The American Bar Association has set forth standards for prosecutors that they should follow, and they exclusively state that a book deal that a prosecutor has during a case should be scrupulously avoided, because it creates this inherent conflict between one’s interest in selling a book and the interest of society,” she said.

More recently, Camm’s attorneys have successfully argued, through the Indiana Court of Appeals, and most recently upheld by the Indiana Supreme court, that a special prosecutor be assigned.  In a compelling conclusion, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Henderson had “a clear and convincing…conflict” and had “permanently compromised his ability advocate on behalf of the people of Indiana.”

Prosecutor Henderson, in addition to being off the case permanently, is also facing a Disciplinary Commission inquiry.  He’s not paying for that alleged misconduct, however, since the county taxpayers are on the hook for the $375 an hour attorney he retained.

So Camm is awaiting the 3rd trial and remains in prison at this time. Words can’t adequately describe the injustice that has occurred throughout the investigation and trials relating to this case.  It is my opinion, based on all the evidence, Boney’s conviction, Camm’s solid alibi, unreliable blood spatter evidence combined with the blatant prosecutorial and judicial misconduct that led to his first and second convictions that Camm has not been given fair trials and it’s quite evident that he is innocent.  It is beyond outrageous to subject him to another trial and for the taxpayers to bear the burden of another trial that is estimated to cost $1 million dollars, but that is what the State of Indiana is planning.  David Camm deserves to be set free now.

I will continue to follow this case and will post updates.

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