judge sentenced a former Indiana state trooper to life in prison
Tuesday for the murders of his wife and two young children.
Jurors earlier this month convicted David Camm of three counts of
murder for the September 2000 slayings of Kimberly Camm, 35,
7-year-old Bradley and 5-year-old Jill.
innocent; I did not do this," Camm said before the judge announced
his sentence. "Another tragic mistake has been made."
the same time Camm's trial was under way, another jury across the
state was hearing testimony that led them to convict an ex-convict
in the same killings.
Prosecutors said the two men conspired to carry out the shootings.
was first convicted in 2002 and sentenced to 195 years in prison,
but the state appeals court overturned the verdict, ruling that
testimony about Camm's extramarital affairs had unfairly biased
prosecution's case centered on tiny bloodstains found on a T-shirt
he wore the night of killings. Crime scene experts testified those
stains placed him within feet of his daughter when she was shot
while strapped into a seat of Kimberly Camm's SUV.
Defense attorneys argued that the stains got on Camm's shirt when he
found the bodies. They called witnesses who said Camm was playing
basketball that night, but prosecutors contended Camm left the game,
killed his family, then returned. He reported the deaths when he
ex-convict, Charles Boney, 36, was charged with conspiring with Camm,
convicted on three counts of murder and sentenced to 225 years in
prison. He was linked to the case last year by DNA evidence on a
prison sweat shirt bearing his nickname, "Backbone," and a palm
print at the crime scene.
Camm's attorneys have said Boney was solely responsible for the
deaths, but the jury in Camm's trial was not told of Boney's
conviction because of evidence rules.
Prosecutors alleged in their closing arguments that Camm killed his
family because his wife discovered he had molested their daughter.
They also maintained that Kimberly Camm planned to leave her husband
and that Camm was motivated to kill her to cash in on insurance
policies worth nearly $300,000.
The Alibi: Disturbing The Peace
Is David Camm A Cold-Blooded Killer?
By David Kohn - CBSNews.com
Jan. 22, 2005
On Sept. 28, 2000, Kim Camm and her two children
were victims of a triple murder in New Albany, Ind. They were found
shot to death at home in their garage.
Kim and her 5-year-old daughter, Jill, were shot in
the head. Her son, Brad, 7, was shot in the chest. The murders were
reported by Kim’s husband, David Camm, a former Indiana state trooper.
"In some ways, it still seems like a nightmare that
just didn't happen," says Janice Renn, Kim's mother.
Three days later, the community mourned for the
Camm family. But just hours after the memorial service, police
arrested their prime suspect, David Camm, for murdering his wife and
Camm, who claims his innocence, has a very good
alibi. Eleven witnesses say they were with him at the time of the
It's simple police work to suspect the survivor
when family members are murdered. But this case quickly became very
complicated. David Camm is from a very large, prominent family in the
county, and he has what seems like an airtight alibi.
On top of that, there's no obvious motive for these
murders. So proving what happened behind these garage doors, beyond a
reasonable doubt, is going to be very tough. Correspondent Richard
Schlesinger reports on this murder that was broadcast last May.
"If there's anybody who wanted to get married, have
2.5 kids and a white picket fence, that was Kim," says Debbie Renn,
Kim's sister. "Being a little sister, I thought he was nice and he was
cute and to me he seemed to bring Kim out more as a person."
Camm, who came from a close and influential local
family, was seen as a mentor who never showed a violent side.
"He wanted to reach out. He looked for a way to
help, he stepped up to the plate," says sister, Julie Camm.
Kim and David Camm were married in 1989. Kim raised
the children while working full time as an accountant. Camm, a state
trooper, was liked and respected by his colleagues, including fellow
trooper Shelly Romero.
“He was very trusting, very loyal, extremely honest.
He could be trusted with anything, just one of the most upstanding
people you would ever fathom in your life," says Romero.
But three years into the marriage, Camm began
having an affair with a woman he’d met at the gym while Kim was
pregnant with their second child.
“It was sheer stupidity on my part,” says Camm. “I allowed myself to
get caught in something that never should have happened. And you know,
I take full responsibility for that.”
Camm moved out, but a few months later, they
reconciled and things seemed to be back to normal. And, at least
financially, life was getting better for the Camms. David quit the
state police to work for his uncle’s construction business, was making
more money and had more time for his family.
"I had never been happier," he says. "I should have
left five years ago."
But investigators later discovered that he had been
involved in several other affairs over the years. In fact, prosecutors
have rounded up a dozen women who either had affairs with or were
propositioned by him.
"He was very flirty," says Andrea Craig. "He was
always trying to rub my feet underneath the radio console. He would
ask me several times if I wanted to get together, hook up."
“It was a given he was going to hit on you,” adds
former colleague, Romero. "He was going to propose an innocent kind of
liason or something like that."
But did those affairs somehow constitute a motive?
“That’s utterly ridiculous,” says Camm.
“We don’t have to prove motive,” says prosecutor
Stan Faith. “All we have to do is prove that he did it. We don’t have
to say why he did it. We'll never know the reason why he did it
exactly because the three people that could tell us are dead."
“He never said I'm perfect,” says David's brother,
Donnie. "I don't think any of us are. We all have faults and we make
The family is convinced that police rushed to
“The prosecution can’t decide what his motive is.
They’ve been bouncing around on different motives and they can’t find
one to stick," adds Donnie.
"Now they have gone to — well, he killed his wife
and his kids so he can pursue extramarital affairs. My question would
be if he was so successful at doing that, why does he have to kill his
On the day of the murder, Kim and the kids were on
the move until 7 p.m., when Kim and Jill picked up Brad from swim
class and headed home.
Around the same time, Camm was off to a weekly
pickup basketball game with friends and relatives.
Those who attended the game that night say that
Camm couldn't be guilty of murder because he was with them, playing
basketball until he headed home around 9:15 p.m.
If those men are right, then it's awfully hard to
believe that David Camm is guilty of murder. Kim, Brad and Jill got
home about 7:30 that night. Camm says he was at the gym playing
basketball until 9:15 p.m., and he has 11 eyewitnesses to back him up.
After the game, Camm says he pulled into the
driveway around 9:22 p.m. and saw his wife lying in a pool of blood.
Minutes later, Camm made a frantic call to the state police.
One of the first officers on the scene was
detective Sean Clemons, one of Camm's closest friends. "I always
considered Dave a friend. I thought I knew Dave. I thought he was a
But Det. Sam Sarkisson became suspicious after Camm
told him he tried to revive his son, Brad, before realizing that his
entire family was already dead.
“Usually, if you have someone come upon a crime
scene, and they talk about rendering aid, or being involved in the
crime scene, then there’s footprints,” says Sarkisson. “I didn’t see
But it wasn’t just the lack of bloody footprints
that drew suspicion to David Camm. Detectives immediately noticed the
entire scene was just too neat.
"We don't think it occurred the way he said it did,"
Police believed that Camm got home, killed his
family, cleaned up the crime scene, and called them - all within seven
His family was outraged. “I can probably see a
husband or wife killing their partner in the heat-of-passion type
thing. But not your kids! You cannot kill your own kids. David could
not kill his kids,” says Camm's uncle, Sam Lockhart.
As for the motive, police believe they got their
answer at the laboratory. An autopsy on David's daughter, Jill, found
evidence of sexual abuse. Faith believes she was molested by her
father, which may have set off a violent confrontation the night of
the murder. “I think that’s a likely scenario."
But if Jill was molested, it's hard to say who did
The medical examiner says Jill was likely molested
“within hours” of her death. But by all accounts, Camm had not seen
Jill since 7 a.m. that morning, nearly 13 hours before the murders.
David Camm says unequivocally that he did not
molest his daughter. "I don't know anything about her being molested.
I don't know anything about that."
His family backs him up.
"Now we’re saying he left the ball game, went home,
sexually abused his daughter, then murdered his family and somehow got
them, the kids, conveniently buckled back in his car? That's crazy,"
says David's sister, Julie Camm.
The Alibi: Reasonable Doubt
48 Hours Looks At A Murder Trial
By Mary Jayne McKay
When their son-in-law David Camm was arrested,
Janice and Frank Renn couldn’t believe it.
"I just couldn't believe that the person I knew,
thought I knew, could do that," says Kim's mother, Janice Renn.
But in the 15 months between the killings and the
start of Camm’s trial, the Renns have become convinced that their
son-in-law is a murderer.
“There’s no way you’re going to bring the kids back
and my daughter back,” says Kim's father, Frank Renn. “No way, no
matter what they do with David. But he’ll have to suffer, when he dies
someday - if it’s soon or if it’s 40 years from now - he’s got to
answer to God.
The murders of Kim, Brad and Jill Camm have gripped
this small Indiana town. And as the trial begins, defense attorney
Michael McDaniel knows all eyes are on the courthouse, and on his
“Right now, David is the only one out there that
they can punish,” says McDaniel.
"My life is on the line," says Camm. "I'm not just
fighting for me, it's not just me, I want justice for my wife and my
David Camm and his supporters believe they have a
strong hand to play in court. Eleven witnesses put him at the
gymnasium at the time of the murders.
With all those witnesses, prosecutor Stan Faith has
a lot of talking to do to convince a jury Camm could have committed
His first theory was that Camm committed the
murders between 9:23 and 9:30 p.m., minutes before he called police.
But scientific evidence put that theory in jeopardy.
The blood in the driveway, which had coagulated and separated before
police arrived, proves the family was murdered much earlier.
"These folks had to be killed a couple hours before
David got home -- would've been killed while he was playing
basketball," says McDaniel.
Then Faith discovered evidence that challenged the
theory that the murder happened at 9:30 p.m., and putting Camm at home
two hours earlier.
Faith has a phone record that proves Camm made a
call from his house at 7:19, placing him at the scene at a time Faith
now believes the murders were probably committed.
"We have a piece of evidence that's objective and
it's recorded that indicates that he was in the house before 7:30 p.m.
and gives a precise time," says Faith.
It's a phone record that Faith says proves Camm
made a business call to a contact from his house at 7:19 p.m., just a
few minutes before Kim and the kids arrived at home.
But if Faith is correct, Camm would have to have
left the basketball game less than 15 minutes after arriving.
Yet all 11 witnesses say he was at the basketball
game that started at 7:15 p.m., and that there was no way he could
have made that phone call.
Faith, however, says phone records don’t lie.
It seems hard to believe, but five weeks after the
surprise 7:19 p.m. phone call was introduced, defense attorney
McDaniel dropped his own bombshell. He discovered that the phone
company has trouble telling time.
"What you had was an hour's difference between real
time and the time that appeared on the phone records," says McDaniel.
As it turns out, it all appears to be a huge
mistake. Indiana is one of two states that has two different time
zones. Camm’s home is in one time zone, but his cell phone company's
computers are in another time zone.
A phone company employee testified that a glitch in
the computer's computer resulted in an incorrect time on the bill -
and that David's phone call was actually placed at 6:19 p.m., well
before his family returned home.
It could have been all over for Faith, but he had
one more card to play. He says he has scientific evidence, tiny
droplets of blood on David's T-shirt and sneaker, that removes any
Crime scene reconstructionist Rod Englert of
Portland, Ore., believes that every blood stain tells a story. He says
high velocity blood splatter, blood that has been hit by something
going very fast, like a bullet, is the key to solving this murder
Englert, who was hired by the prosecution in the
Camm case, examined the T-shirt David wore the night of the murders.
He found eight tiny dots, which he identified as high-velocity blood
"This is so unique and so separate from other
stains that one can say with confidence, that this is from high-velocity
mist that the person got on him and would have to be within four feet
of the shots when they were fired," says Englert.
He also found smudged droplets of Kim's blood on
"The shooter had to be facing her left side," says
Englert, who believes Kim's hand could have splattered her own blood
as she fell to the floor. "Because the shot is through the left side
of her head, it exits out the right and then what happens when you're
shot through the brain? You're bleeding, you're dropping blood and
it's hitting the concrete, and as you go down, you strike that."
This was enough to convince Frank Renn of his
son-in-law's guilt. “It's going to be proven it was on his shirt. And
that told me right then that David did it. There's no more doubt in my
mind that David did it."
But David's family still has a lot of doubt.
"Blood spatter is not an exact science, and their
expert admitted two experts can disagree," says David's sister, Julie
Camm. "You have a 50/50 chance of having the right answer. That's
Defense attorney McDaniel has his own expert, who
claims those tiny dots were transferred onto Camm’s shirt while he was
moving around the bloody crime scene, after his family was murdered.
"He's given his conclusions that there isn't any
high-velocity blood spatter on the front of David's T-shirt," says
McDaniel. "There isn't any impact on his shoes or socks."
Now, the jurors have to decide what to believe -
eight spots of blood that prove David Camm did it or the 11 witnesses
who say he couldn’t have committed the crime.
Three days after they began deliberating, the jury
reaches a verdict: guilty. David Camm is now a convicted murderer,
sentenced to 195 years in prison without parole.
"They painted this small portion of a picture of my
brother and they got a conviction based on that," says David's sister,
“You just sent an innocent man to jail,” screams
David's brother, Donnie, at the jury outside the courthouse. “There’s
a predator loose and it’s your fault, all 12 or 15 of you!”
Juror Judy Price says the deliberations were “the
most gut-wrenching experience I have ever experienced in my entire
When deliberations started, jurors say, the vote
was 8 to 4 in favor of convicting Camm. In just a few hours, it was 10
That’s where things got stuck – and ugly. Some
jurors say they were crying, others were yelling.
"I wanted so bad to find him not guilty," says
Price, one of the last holdouts.
The biggest obstacle to a guilty verdict was the
testimony of the basketball players, says juror Ruth Caruso. “But when
when you start breaking down to each person’s testimony, it’s all
different. They each said different things.”
But in the end, the jurors came to believe Camm had
the opportunity - and a motive.
"He might have been molesting his little girl,"
Even though Camm was never charged with molesting
Jill, that allegation weighed heavily on jurors’ minds.
But Price was still troubled by the evidence the
other jurors found compelling - those eight tiny drops of blood. She
was troubled by the blood spatter until another juror whom she had
come to trust, won her over with an impassioned argument.
During the two years since the guilty verdict, Camm
has been doing time while his family has been battling to prove his
innocence. "We're not gonna quit on him," says Lockhart. "We know he
didn't do it."
In August, there was a development that could only
be described as stunning. An Indiana appeals court threw out the
convictions, and in the process, sent this case back to the beginning.
The court blasted the judge for improperly admitting evidence of
adultery, ruling that evidence could have unfairly persuaded the jury
that Camm had a motive for killing his family.
Prison, however, has taken its toll on David Camm,
who is still not a free man. There's a new prosecutor, Keith Henderson,
who says he'll try him again, and this time, he has stronger evidence
that Camm abused his daughter, Jill.
But Camm's new lawyer, Katharine Liell, says
there's no proof that Camm molested his daughter. She says she'll
fight to keep those charges out of the new trial. She also says that
the real killer can be identified through DNA that was left at the
scene on Bradley's sweat pants but never fully investigated.
"Kim struggled with a killer or killers," says
Liell. "We know Dave Camm did not commit those murders."
A second trial will be a replay of one of the worst
days in the lives of two families. At least Camm's family will get
another chance, but Kim's family has to relive the murders with
nothing to gain, no matter what the verdict.
"I see my daughter getting killed, and those two
little kids. I just can't imagine what went through their last minutes
of their lives," says Kim's father, Frank Renn.
"And I don't know of anybody who should have to go
through this thing twice. Once is bad enough, but doing it twice? I
don't know. It'll be hard. You never get over this."
Murder On Lockhart Road
Bizarre Twists And Evidence Keep Turning Case On
By Daniel Schorn - CBSNews.com
July 12, 2008
On the evening of Sept. 28, 2000, former Indiana
state trooper David Camm came home to find his 35-year-old wife Kim
and his five-year-old daughter Jill murdered, both shot execution-style
in the head; his seven-year old-son Brad died after being shot in the
Just three days later, Camm, 36, was arrested and
charged with the murders. Camm has adamantly denied any involvement in
Correspondent Richard Schlesinger has spent
years investigating the case, one with bizarre evidence and many
unusual twists that would lead to an ending that no one expected.
David Camm spoke to 48 Hours shortly
after his 2000 arrest, recalling what he saw when he drove up to the
garage of his home.
"I started to pull my truck in, I get up to the
threshold and that’s when I saw the first stream of blood," Camm told
Schlesinger. "I get down in her face and yell 'Kim, Kim!' And her eyes
- I could tell she was gone."
His children, Brad and Jill, were still inside the
family SUV. "I looked in the back and I looked to the right, that’s
when I saw Brad, kind of like he was stretched over the seat and his
little eyes-I could just barely see his little eyes," Camm recalled.
"I could see little Jill, she was still sittin’ there in her seat and
her head, her little head was down in her lap."
Up until four months before the murders, Camm had
been a trooper with the Indiana State Police and a lot of people were
stunned when he was charged with the murders.
It's basic police work to look at the surviving
spouse as the number one suspect, but to those who knew Camm, it
seemed like a rush to judgment. He is from a large and influential
family and had no obvious motive. And there was one other thing: he
had what appeared to be an airtight alibi.
"David was at the gym at the time his family was
killed. He was at the Georgetown Community Church playing basketball,"
says Camm's uncle Sam Lockhart, who from day one has insisted his
nephew did not do it.
Lockhart says he was at the same gym at the same
time, watching his nephew play. Ten other people say they can prove it
too; they say they were all at the basketball game that night with
All of the men said they saw Camm at the gym and
that he sat out the second game that night at approximately 7:30,
around the same time police believe the murders occurred. Several
players said they remembered seeing Camm on the sidelines. Another man
at the gym that night also says he spoke with Camm.
If Camm snuck out of a basketball game at the gym,
raced home, killed his family and raced back there without anyone
noticing, he’s either very clever or very lucky. Did he have time to
do it? To find out, 48 Hours drove the exact same route
prosecutors believe Camm took that night.
It took all of 15 minutes, investigators say, for
Camm to commit the crime. It took Schlesinger eight minutes to make
the round trip which means, if you believe the prosecution's theory,
Camm had roughly seven minutes to kill Kim, Brad and Jill.
But to this day, investigators are still not sure
what happened inside the garage that night. There are all sorts of
strange things about the crime scene. For one, it seemed much too
clean. And on top of the Ford Bronco, Kim's shoes had been neatly
So was the murderer tidy? A little compulsive? And
there was more: an unidentified palm print on the Bronco door and a
grey sweatshirt tucked neatly next to Brad’s body.
Camm has always insisted that he could never have
killed his wife and kids, and that he was a happy family man from the
moment he met Kim. It all started out beautifully when they married in
1989. It wasn’t long before Bradley was born.
But Kim and David were headed for trouble. When Kim
was pregnant with Jill, he had an affair. "It’s sheer stupidity on my
part, I allowed myself to get caught into something that you know,
that never should have happened. And you know I take full
responsibility for that," Camm admits.
The couple eventually reconciled and a few years
later, just months before the murders, things seemed to get even
better. Camm quit his job with the police and began work at the family
business. The new job gave Camm what he said he wanted most: more time
with his family and more money.
But as this case unfolded, police said they started
learning about more dark secrets. It looked like Camm had been leading
a double life. As one woman put it, Camm was "very flirty with the
women," and Camm acknowledges "there had been a few incidents over the
One woman, who asked not to be named, met Camm in
the early 1990s. She says their relationship lasted for about six
months, and ended abruptly when she learned Camm was married.
But Camm, she says, was persistent and there was
one phone call she’ll never forget. "It was more or less screaming at
me. You know, 'Who told you!'" she recalls.
Prosecutor Stan Faith believes Camm’s adultery was
a motive for murder. "If you are wanting to lead a lifestyle that he
seemed to want to lead, you may want to get rid of your spouse. This
happens all the time."
In Jan. 2002, a little more than a year after the
murders, Camm’s trial began. Prosecutors planned to present dozens of
witnesses, including a parade of women saying Camm propositioned them
In addition to the women, there was a pile of
forensic evidence including that grey sweatshirt, which he insists was
left there by the real killer.
On that point, prosecutors had to admit that Camm
was right: the DNA on the sweatshirt was not his. And they didn't know
whose palm print it was on the Bronco, either. But they still had
plenty of plenty of powerful evidence to throw at Camm, including an
explosive autopsy report that would turn the trial on its head.
Dr. Tracy Corey performed the autopsy on five-year-old
Jill Camm. "When we began to remove her clothes, we immediately
noticed blood," she remembers.
It was where they found blood that alarmed Dr.
Corey and her colleagues. "Personally I think that Jill Camm was the
victim of sexual abuse. What I can say as far as professionally, when
asked what my professional opinion is, I can say that she has blunt
trauma, that that blunt trauma is consistent with sexual abuse, but it
might be consistent with something else. It’s just, I haven’t been
presented with a scenario that explains that to me," she says.
Dr. Corey's discovery stunned and sickened Kim’s
family. If Jill had been molested then who did it? Prosecutors thought
they knew: David Camm.
But Camm denies molesting his daughter and says he
didn't know anything about a sexual assault.
The most important question for Camm’s defense was:
when was Jill molested? Dr. Corey believes it was within hours of her
death, between 12 and 24 hours.
By all accounts, Camm didn’t see Jill after 7 a.m.
on the day she died. So if she was molested within 12 hours of her
death, Camm didn’t have access to her and couldn’t have done it. But,
if it was within 24 hours, that’s another story.
It is very tough to prove Camm molested his
daughter and he has never been charged with it.
While Kim and Jill had been shot in the head, Brad
had been shot in the chest and Dr. Corey says the little boy bled to
death internally. Before he died, Corey says Brad would have been able
to hear, see and speak. And she believes the pattern of his injuries
shows Bradley was likely face-to-face with his killer.
On Camm's T-shirt, investigators found eight tiny
blood drops, which prosecutors claim got there when he pulled the
Investigators hoped blood stain expert Rod Englert
could connect the dots. Using stage blood and a piece of paper,
Englert shot a blank at the blood, demonstrating how it would splatter.
"You cannot create that pattern. This is very
indicative of high velocity mist," explains Englert, who was hired by
Englert examined Camm’s shirt and identified the
stains as what’s called "high velocity impact spatter," caused by a
bullet hitting a body. But that’s just one theory. The defense says
those drops of blood actually back up Camm's version of what he did
when he discovered the bodies.
"I grabbed Brad, picked him up," Camm explains. "I
was gonna try to do CPR on him."
Bart Epstein, a blood stain expert for more than 30
years, was hired by the defense and believes those eight droplets on
David’s shirt got there when he leaned over to remove his son's body
from the SUV.
Epstein says those tiny drops of blood were made
when Camm‘s shirt brushed against the tips of Jill’s bloody hair.
Using a wig and some stage blood, Epstein demonstrated how these blood
stains could have gotten on the shirt.
He believes these stains can look like high
velocity impact spatter to some people. But in this case, the number
of blood stains could be as important as their size.
"Gunshot will produce hundreds of stains coming
back. I’ve never seen, I believe the other experts for both the
prosecution and the defense have indicated that they’ve never seen
just seven small or eight small stains from a gunshot. I’ve never seen
that," says Epstein.
Camm’s lawyers believe if he had pulled the trigger
at point blank range, his clothes would have been covered in blood.
After roughly two months of arguments and testimony,
the jury finally got the case. On a Sunday night, three days after
they began deliberating, jurors reached a verdict: guilty.
Jurors believed Camm molested his daughter and
murdered his family at least partly to cover that up. They believed
the forensic evidence more than the 11 men at the gym, who said they
were with Camm the night of the murders.
He was sentenced to 195 years in prison.
Kim's father Frank Renn says he felt relieved by
the verdict, but not better. "I think he did it. I want him behind
bars. I guess it makes me feel comfortable that he’s behind bars,"
Kim's mother Janice added.
The Renns thought Camm would be in prison for the
rest of his life, but this story turned out to be far from over: a new
defense attorney was determined to uncover the truth about some old
evidence, including the grey sweatshirt.
David Camm has always insisted he had nothing to do
with the murders and spoke exclusively with 48 Hours
about being convicted.
Camm says he didn't expect to be acquitted and that
he saw it coming; he says he knew early on that his defense team never
had a chance. "We were outmanned," he says,
Nobody expected what came next: the Indiana Court
of Appeals made a bombshell decision, throwing out the convictions and
slamming the judge in the Camm trial for allowing in evidence of
adultery. The court said all those women could have unfairly persuaded
the jury to turn against Camm. It was a stinging opinion. The court
called the case against Camm "far from overwhelming."
Prosecutor Stan Faith knew the case was
controversial but he never expected such a harsh ruling.
The court also strongly warned prosecutors that if
they tried Camm again, and presented evidence that Jill was molested,
they would have to prove that it was Camm who molested her.
Camm soon learned that he would face trial again.
Both he and his new attorney Kitty Liell braced for an uphill battle,
vowing to keep the molestation evidence out of the new trial.
"In reality, they were never able and still have
not been able to come up with any evidence that the blunt force trauma
suffered by Jill was caused by David Camm," Liell says.
Camm’s new defense team would face a new prosecutor,
Keith Henderson. His first priority was to take a closer look at
Camm’s alibi, those 11 men who say they were with him at the time of
the murders. They looked at the story each man in the gym that night
Prosecutors started to believe Camm’s alibi might
not be so strong after all.
"They don’t know how many games they played, they
don’t know what they were wearing, they don’t know just lots of things,
I think that’s where our cross examination could be built - their
inability to remember things," a prosecutor said during a strategy
session, which 48 Hours was allowed to attend.
Henderson’s case was starting to take shape, even
though he would not be permitted to present large chunks of evidence
the jury in the first trial heard.
From the beginning Camm always insisted that the
grey sweatshirt, which never was fully investigated, could answer a
lot of questions. "That was one of the primary elements of our defense
was that sweatshirt," Camm explains. "And the state simply dismissed
The sweatshirt held two important clues: there were
blood stains on it that contained DNA; and the word "Backbone" was
written inside the collar.
DNA analyst Lynn Skamerhorn, from the Indiana State
Police lab, tested the sweatshirt before Camm's first trial. Besides
Bradley's blood, Skamerhorn says she was able to identify other blood
stains, most yielding "very good results as far as DNA was concerned."
In fact, there was a lot of DNA on that sweatshirt.
Some of it matched Brad and his mother, Kim, but the rest of it
belonged to at least two unidentified people, a man and a woman. None
of it matched Camm.
Amazingly, that mystery DNA was never run through
the federal data bank of known felons before Camm’s first trial. Faith
did ask to have the profile run through the DNA database but that
didn't happen. "I think somebody dropped the ball," he says.
It was a huge error and Kitty Liell believes the
mystery DNA would reveal the truth about what happened on the night of
the murder. She was right: the results would eventually blow the case
David Camm hoped, after five years in prison, that
he would finally go free. With the help of an angry appeals court and
his attorneys, Camm’s case was transferred to another county, where
the judge set bond at $20,000.
Sam Lockhart wasted no time and went straight to
the bank to get the money he needed to get his nephew out and take him
home to await his next trial.
The key to finding the killer, or killers, could be
that mysterious grey sweatshirt.
Prosecutor Keith Henderson pushed to finally get
some answers and ordered the lab to look at everything. What they
found changed just about everything.
Five years after the murders the DNA found on that
sweatshirt was run through a data bank of convicted felons; almost
immediately there was a hit.
The DNA matched to a man named Charles Darnell
Boney, a convicted felon who was recently released from prison. It
turns out Boney has a nickname, "Backbone," the same name written on
the collar of that sweatshirt.
But there was one more mystery. Investigators were
unable to identify the female DNA found on the sweatshirt. Who was
this mystery woman?
Camm thought this would be the end of his legal
trouble. "We got the killer. That’s the guy who killed Kim, Brad and
Jill. That’s the guy," he said
Boney grew up in the same town as Camm. Once police
knew who to look for they found him right away, just across the Ohio
River in Louisville, Ky.
Boney wasn’t officially a suspect, yet, but he was
a person of interest to the police and the media. He had no problem
talking - in fact, it was hard to shut him up.
"I will be on every station. I don’t have anything
to hide. I stand true to my word," he said during an interview.
Just four months before the murders, Boney had been
released from prison, where he had served time for armed robbery.
Boney never tried to deny his nickname, Backbone.
He was proud of it. "As you know my nickname’s Backbone, all it means
is I’m not spineless," he said during a TV interview.
Boney denied any involvement in the murders and
seemed especially eager to help defense investigators, who were
videotaping their interviews. He appeared relaxed, and at times even
It quickly became obvious that Boney had what could
only be described as an odd fascination if not an obsession: he really
liked shoes and feet. His interests had gotten him into trouble with
In the late 1980’s, when he was a student at
Indiana University in Bloomington, Boney was known to authorities by
another name, "The Shoe Bandit." It's a fact he doesn't deny. "I mean.
I’m guilty. I did it," he told police during an interview.
Boney’s dramatic entrance into the Camm case seemed
to answer a lot of questions about the crime scene, especially the
bizarre placement of Kim’s shoes on top of the Bronco.
But Boney denied being the killer. "I would rather
kill myself than kill kids," he told investigators.
Camm’s defense attorney immediately checked into
Boney’s background. "Well I learned he has a history of violent crimes
against women," Liell says. "Like tackling women and punching them in
the face and stealing one shoe."
Donna Ennis knows first hand Boney is a dangerous
man. In Oct. 1992, she and her college roommates were robbed at
gunpoint by him.
She says his demeanor quickly changed from calm to
angry and agitated. "He told us if we did anything he was going to
kill us. If we tried to run, if we tried to scream he was going to
kill us," Ennis remembers.
Luckily, a neighbor saw the commotion and called
the police; Boney was arrested.
Five years after David Camm’s family had been
murdered, the pieces of the puzzle were beginning to fall into place.
And Boney was a man with a lot of explaining to do, starting with that
Boney claims he got rid it shortly after he was
released from prison, saying he threw it into a Salvation Army drop
He was quick to point out his DNA wasn’t the only
DNA on the sweatshirt, saying that, "There’s also unidentified female.
Everyone knows that. Everyone that’s followed the case."
He insists he doesn’t know how his sweatshirt got
to the crime scene and he insists he didn’t even know David Camm.
Boney wasn’t doing himself any favors by continuing to talk,
especially when the subject turned to fingerprints.
"My fingerprints would not appear at that crime
scene, because first and foremost, once again, I would have to have
been there in for my finger prints to appear at the crime scene," he
But Henderson says the palm print on the outside of
the Bronco matched Boney's fingerprints.
The more Boney talked, the more he implicated
himself. "If something of mine was there at the scene, that means that
I would have been there," he told police.
And police could not have agreed more. His
sweatshirt, his DNA and his palm print at the scene of the murders
made their case. Boney was arrested and charged with murdering Kim,
Brad and Jill.
Shortly after Boney’s arrest Camm and his father
Don could hardly believe what happened next: the murder charges
against David had been dropped. David’s father had never seen his son
so happy. "Oh gracious, he was nervous, he was shakin’, he was beside
himself," he remembers.
But the euphoria didn't last. For the first time in
years there were no charges against David Camm. That changed about 60
Armed with warrants, officers arrested Camm,
telling him he was being re-charged and would face an additional
charge of conspiracy.
After a tiny taste of freedom, Camm was whisked
back to jail. Keith Henderson had a new theory: Camm and Boney were
partners and he couldn’t let Camm remain free, fearing he might flee.
Henderson said Boney made this an entirely new
case, so now Camm and Boney would face not just murder charges but
also the new conspiracy charge.
"After discovering Charles Boney my belief now is
that that this was planned well in advance," Henderson says.
But Camm says he never met or knew Boney, even
though they both grew up in the small town of New Albany.
Prosecutors suspected Boney stayed behind to clean
up after the murders so that Camm could race back to the basketball
Boney couldn’t very well deny being at the murder
scene anymore, with the sweatshirt, his DNA and the palm print putting
him there. So he started cooperating up to a point; he always denied
firing any shots that night.
Just days after Boney was arrested, he told police
an almost entirely different story. He now said he knew Camm. He said
he had met him at a basketball game and that he had told Camm he was
an ex-con who dealt in drugs and guns. Once again, Boney was talking
and investigators tape recorded every word.
Boney told prosecutors that Camm approached him
with a special request. "He asked me specifically 'Do you still deal
with getting firearms,'" Boney told police.
Henderson says Boney claimed Camm had approached
him to obtain a clean, untraceable gun for $250.
Boney’s attorney Patrick Renn, who is no relation
to Kim’s family, argues his client had no idea why Camm wanted the gun.
"Charles Boney sold a weapon to David Camm. He did it for financial
gain. Period. He never asked David Camm what he was gonna do with the
weapon," he says.
And while Renn says Boney was at the murder scene,
he says his client is a witness, and not a co-conspirator.
"He hears an altercation," Renn says. "And then he
hears the female voice say, 'No' and then there’s a shot and then he
hears a young male voice saying 'Daddy' and then there’s a second shot."
And, according to Renn, Camm turned the gun on
Boney and tried to kill him. But the way Boney tells it, the gun
jammed, and he pursued Camm back into the garage.
"After tripping over the shoes, he picked up the
shoes, placed those shoes on top of the Bronco and then looked inside
the vehicle. Saw the children. Saw they had been killed and then he
left," Renn says.
Camm insists Boney’s story is fiction. "He just
makes this stuff up on the fly, trying to put things together, what he
knows and what he doesn’t know to make it fit to give them what they
want," he says.
The murder investigation would lead authorities
from rural Indiana to the Carribean island of Trinidad and a young
lady named Mala Singh Mattingly.
She was Boney's girlfriend at the time of the
killings. Their "romance" was short, so Mala was surprised when the
police came looking for her five years later, trying to match that
unknown female DNA on Boney’s sweatshirt.
It turned out Boney still remembered her. "She
would be the perfect, second perfect alibi," he told police.
Boney may have believed Mala would help his case,
but he was very wrong. She tells Schlesinger she saw Boney leave on
the night of the murder. "He told me he was going to help a buddy,"
Investigators say that "buddy" was David Camm.
At the time, Mala didn’t think much of it. But a
few hours later, Boney came home and woke her. Asked to describe what
he was like on his return, Mala says, "Excited trying to catch his
breath and panting … I see the scrape on his knee."
She was still sleepy, but she says Boney insisted
on showing her a gun. Detectives aren’t sure if Mala saw the murder
weapon, which they have never found, but she is the only witness who
will say she saw Boney night of the killing.
Boney and Camm would be tried for the same crime at
the same time but on different sides of the state: Boney in New Albany,
Camm 100 miles away in Boonville.
As the trial began, Boney’s attorney faced every
defense attorney’s worst nightmare - a smorgasboard of forensic
evidence, not to mention his client’s own words taped and written.
Prosecutor Henderson laid out a devastating case:
Mala Singh Mattingly’s testimony about seeing Boney with a gun on the
night of the murder, Boney’s DNA and palm print at the crime scene,
topped off with his own words, including some he thought he could take
After agreeing to write a statement for the police,
Boney apparently had second thoughts about a few lines and crossed
Unfortunately for Boney, the prosecution had a
powerful weapon: forensic document examiner Diane Tolliver. She has
been uncovering hidden messages for 30 years.
Tolliver had low expectations for deciphering the
crossed out words but using a high tech gizmo, called the Video
Spectral Comparator 2000, she was able to reveal the message.
"The original text was 'David Camm asked me to
follow him to a secluded area. He wanted to talk to me about something
that could help me financially he said,'" Tolliver read.
It was very strong evidence, even though David Camm
says it’s all a lie. "He was writing on the fly. He was making it up
as he went along," he insists.
But Boney’s attorney believes the statement helps
prove Boney’s claim that all he did was sell David Camm a gun.
It’s was a tough defense to sell to a jury. After
three days of deliberations, jurors found Charles Boney guilty on all
Jurors quickly decided that Boney was guilty of
Kim’s murder; that decision took less than an hour. But the jury still
had to decide about Brad and Jill’s murders. Did Boney know the kids
would also be killed that night? That’s what troubled Kristy Litch,
who was the last hold out.
"I don't know if it was the fact that I knew we was
gonna have to find a man guilty of murder. Or if it was the fact I
didn't want to convict 'em of the kids murders when I didn't have
enough proof that he knew that they were gonna be murdered," she
Camm’s uncle Sam Lockhart saw the Boney verdict as
a victory for David. "We’re ecstatic that they finally got the killer.
Our next deal is get Dave Camm free," he said.
And Kim’s family worried that there was not nearly
as much evidence against Camm as there was against Boney. "David Camm
murdered these three people and he’s the one we got to get," her
With Boney behind bars, all eyes focused on Camm’s
re-trial. Camm’s legal team believed when jurors would hear about
Boney’s violent past they would be convinced that Boney killed Kim,
Brad, and Jill, not David Camm.
But the jury would hear very little about Boney -
the judge ruled jurors could only be told that his DNA and palm print
were found at the scene. But they would not hear about his recent
conviction in this case, his previous crimes against women, or his
It was huge a blow to the defense and left Camm "extremely
Still, Camm had the appeals court decision working
for him. The ruling said all those women who testified about his
adultery in the first trial would not be allowed in this one.
But the appeals court left the heart of
prosecution’s case untouched: the eight tiny blood stains on Camm’s T-shirt,
which prosecutors insist got there when Camm shot his family.
Asked why the blood stains don't implicate David
Camm, Stacy Uliana, a member of the defense team says, "They fit
perfectly with what Dave has said from the very beginning. He reached
over his daughter when he pulled his son out of the car."
For weeks, Camm had had to sit through all the
evidence a second time. He watched the blood experts tangle again and
watched the gruesome crime scene photos, again.
It got more difficult. The judge decided
prosecutors would be allowed to present some evidence that David’s
daughter Jill was molested, even though the appeals court set limits.
At the first trial, experts said Jill’s injuries
told them she was molested within 12 to 24 hours of her death. But at
this trial, a new prosecution witness widened that window of
opportunity in which David could have abused his daughter.
"The jury has learned that Jill Camm was sexually
abused, two days prior to her murder," Henderson said.
But with almost every setback in this trial, Camm
got some good news. After the prosecution rested, the judge ruled
there was too little proof of a connection between Camm and Boney.
There was no evidence of phone calls or meetings, hardly any evidence
the men had a plan. The conspiracy charge was dismissed.
Camm’s defense team hammered away at every
prosecution witness, trying to raise as much doubt as possible.
A big part of the defense's case rested on the
testimony of the basketball players, including Camm's uncle, who say
they saw David on the night of the murders.
But prosecutor Keith Henderson thought he could
punch a big hole in Camm’s supposedly air-tight alibi. One of the
basketball players who swore at the first trial that he saw Camm in
the church gym for the entire evening, now said he wasn't sure.
How damaging is the testimony? It’s hard to say
because 10 other men still insist David was at the gym all the time.
"What’s relevant here is was Dave Camm in that gym
or not. The evidence shows that Dave Camm was in that gym that night
when Charles Boney was murdering his family. And that’s what counts,"
says Kitty Liell.
During closing arguments, Henderson argued Camm not
only had the opportunity to kill his family, he had a motive. "Well
the motive was Kimberly was leaving David Camm and she was leaving him
because of the child molesting," he said.
"What they want to do is throw anything they can up
against the wall," Liell argues. "It's character assassination. If
they had any evidence of it they would have charged him."
But Camm's lawyers pointed the finger at Boney,
whose DNA and palm print were at the crime scene; they said police
botched the investigation and from the outset were determined to get
Camm, despite his alibi.
Jurors got the case. On the fourth day of
deliberations, the jury found David Camm guilty of murder, again
Camm says he was "dumbfounded" and "shocked" by the
Jurors meticulously went through all the evidence
and decided the defense didn’t add up, for the same reasons as the
jury in the first trial. They believed those blood stains proved Camm
was the killer.
Camm was sentenced to life without parole.
"Another thing that makes it more difficult is the
fact that I did have that taste of being back with you know my
brothers, sisters, cousins nieces nephews and being back with my
family," Camm says of his brief taste of freedom. "And the bottom line
is, one of the things that makes it the most difficult is the fact
that I’m doing Charles Boney’s time."
But Camm has had two chances to prove his innocence
and has never been able to persuade a single juror that he’s not a
"People have formulated an opinion, and they either
believe in me or they don't. The people that believe in me are the
same people that have always believed in me, and they require no
convincing," he says. "There's one group of individuals that I'm
concerned with right now, and that is the Indiana Supreme Court."
Camm’s lawyers are asking for a third trial but
even he knows that’s a long shot.
For the Renn family the latest victory provides
little comfort. They’ve always known who killed Kim, Brad, and Jill.
They’ve never been sure why and even after six years and three trials,
they still don’t. They still have trouble understanding what happened
in the garage that bloody night.
"You always wonder, you want the whole puzzle put
together," says Kim's father Frank Renn. "There’s a part missing and
I’m not sure we’ll ever know the whole truth."
David Camm is awaiting a decision on his appeal.
Charles Boney was sentenced to 225 years. His
appeal was denied.
It has cost more than $2 million to prosecute the
It is impossible to adequately explain everything
that has happened in almost eight years since Kimberly, Bradley and
Jill Camm were slaughtered in the garage of their Georgetown, Indiana
home in the evening of September 28, 2000. That incomprehensible crime
shook the entire metropolitan Louisville, Kentucky area. Perhaps
equally as earth shattering, however, was the subsequent arrest of
David Camm, the husband and father of the slain family, less than 70
This overview, as well as a more thorough review of
other areas, will hopefully provide the reader with an understanding
and appreciation of many things. Chief among those should be the stark
realization that there was a rush to judgment and subsequent denial of
justice for Kim, Bradley, Jill, David Camm, their families, the
community in which they lived, and, of course, those that perpetrated
this most heinous of all acts.
In early 2000, David Camm resigned from the Indiana
State Police after spending 10 years as a road trooper. He was well
respected, had been on the Emergency Rescue Team (ERT) and had been
awarded the department's medal of valor for his efforts in risking his
life in an effort to try and save the life of a drowning man.
Dave's successful uncle, an American entrepreneur,
had built a basement waterproofing business from a one man operation
into a successful and well-respected business employing over forty
workers. Dave made a positive career change and went to work for his
Uncle Sam and quickly became a successful salesman and supervisor,
earning in six months almost a year's ISP salary.
On September 28, 2000, Dave had been married to
Kimberly for over 11 years and had two beautiful children, Bradley,
age seven and Jill, age five. At the time, Kim had a well-paying and
highly regarded position as a financial analyst at a major insurance
carrier in nearby Louisville, Kentucky, and their two children were
happy and well-adjusted children who attended a Christian school in
New Albany, Indiana.
On September 28, 2000, after a busy day at work,
Dave played basketball at the Georgetown Community Church with ten
other players. The one game he didn't play he sat on the baseline
talking with a church elder. Dave was at the gym from 6:59PM, when the
alarm was disengaged, until the security alarm was set at 9:22PM, when
he and the seven other remaining players left. Dave's presence in the
gym was accounted for by the other players and the church elder with
whom he was talking. He never left the gym.
After he left the basketball games, Dave drove the
two and a half miles to his residence and then pulled onto the
driveway. The garage door was raised and he was presented with a
horrific nightmare that was impossible to comprehend. His wife,
missing her pants, lay on the garage floor with a massive head wound
with a blood trail streaming from her head. His two children were both
in the back seat of the family Bronco.
Dave tried to gauge what had happened and in the
confusing course of a few moments had frantically climbed into the two-door
Bronco and between the two front seats to the rear seat where his son
and daughter were located. He removed his son from the Bronco and laid
him on the concrete floor and gave him CPR in an attempt to revive him
(Jill had a massive head wound; Brad was shot through the chest), ran
into the house to call the State Police, ran across the road to his
grandfather's house yelling for his uncle for help and then ran back
to the garage.
Less than 70 hours later, David Camm was arrested
and charged with the murders of his wife Kim, son Brad, and daughter
Jill. The date was October 1, 2000. The probable
cause affidavit which was the document used to charge Dave was
inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, and based in large part upon the
false deductions and speculations of the lead detective who
significantly relied upon the conclusions provided by a supposed blood
stain expert and crime scene re-constructionist.
Robert Stites was that supposed crime scene re-constructionist
and was also supposedly a blood expert who was the source of much of
the information in the probable cause affidavit. The ISP relied upon
Stites for his expert opinion on blood pattern analysis and for his
assessment and evaluation of the crime scene. The crux of the arrest
warrant was based upon Stites' opinion that eight tiny dots of blood
on the lower left front of Camm's T-shirt, known as Area 30, was high
velocity, meaning blowback from a gunshot wound. Years later and under
oath, Stites admitted that when he rendered his opinion that he hadn't
even taken the basic elementary course on blood stain analysis and had
never before independently rendered an opinion on blood stains.
Stites further admitted during Camm's second trial
that his previous testimony that he was working on his PhD in fluid
dynamics wasn't accurate, for he hadn't taken any college courses in
the nine years prior to when he first testified. Additionally, his
previous testimony under oath in the first Camm trial that he had
testified in other venues about blood stains in other cases wasn't
accurate either, for he had never done so.
As to being a crime scene re-constructionist,
Stites had never before processed a homicide scene. He later admitted
that, contrary to the sworn probable cause affidavit, he wasn't a
crime scene re-constructionist when he offered his conclusions about
the Camm crime scene.
Stites was neither a crime scene re-constructionist
nor a blood stain expert, but yet he was allowed free rein at the
crime scene and held out by the ISP as a man who had a national
reputation and was relied upon for his “expert” opinions and
conclusions to support the probable cause affidavit which authorized
the arrest of David Camm.
Prosecutor Stanley Faith had taken over the crime
scene, according to several investigators. He also had politically
appointed investigators who were intimately involved at the crime
scene and in later critical interviews. They also were instrumental in
helping the crime scene re-construction efforts but yet didn't have
any police training or police experience. They collected possibly
crucial evidence without maintaining any chain of custody. What they
collected, who collected what, and when they collected it and where it
was retained was unclear or unknown. Potentially critical evidence was
lost and untrained, inexperienced, and politically appointed
investigators were intimately involved in the most horrific crime ever
to occur in Floyd County, Indiana. (Recently added condoms to the
septic system were collected but lost. Kim and David didn't use
condoms. A shower curtain which appeared to have blood stains was also
collected and lost. The prosecutor's investigators possibly collected
them but they didn't have any record. Regardless, no one knew what
happened to the evidence. Somebody lost those items, but no one
The same probable cause affidavit which relied upon
the conclusions of Stites, also claimed that Jill had a recent tear in
the vaginal area consistent with sexual intercourse. The inference was
deadly. Her father was the one responsible and had violated her. There
was absolutely nothing which corroborated any sexual abuse much less
anything which supported the contention that Dave was responsible for
his little girl's injuries.
The injuries were deemed to be so painful that Jill
would have had trouble urinating, and according to one doctor, they
would have "hurt like hell" when she urinated. The day of her murder,
however, Jill had been active at school, had been energetic at her
dance practice, was dressed by her grandmother (Kim's mother), and was
running around during Brad's swim practice just hours before her
murder. She never said a word about nor exhibited any symptom of any
pain. Her autopsy also reflected very little urine in her bladder,
indicating that she had urinated not long before her murder.
Indeed, the Chief Medical Examiner in Kentucky who
performed the autopsy on little Jill later testified that Jill's
injuries were the result of blunt force trauma which had many possible
causes. She further stated that her official report didn't even use
the term sexual intercourse and at trial stated, "In fact, it doesn't
even say sexual abuse, it says trauma."
The horrific allegation that Jill was molested and
that Dave was responsible was never to be dropped, however, and
carries with it the same odorous and indelible stain that it did when
it was first alleged on October 1, 2000.
Nonetheless, the prosecution of David Camm marched
forward. He was first convicted in the court of public opinion,
greatly aided by the spurious allegation that he had molested his
precious daughter and then with the revelations of his previous
infidelities while with the ISP. Indeed, during the trial, the
prosecutor called several very reluctant women to testify about their
relationships with Camm. Their testimony was lurid and sensational but
had no bearing on the crimes.
Before and during the trial, prosecutor Faith
changed theories three times about when the crime occurred. The first
probable cause affidavit alleged that Dave killed his family between
9:15-9:30PM, or after he returned from the basketball games around
9:00PM. At the time that allegation was made, the ten players and the
church elder weren't important and had told the truth. It was only
after the prosecution changed their theory as to the timing of the
murders did the prosecutor refer to those same truthful people as
The second theory proffered by deputy prosecutor
Susan Orth in her opening comments to the first jury claimed that
after arriving at the gym, Dave snuck out of the basketball games,
drove to his home, tried to make a phone call to a customer at 7:19PM,
then slaughtered his family, cleaned and manipulated the crime scene,
returned to the games, had blood on his shirts and shoes, and
continued playing with a calm and carefree manner.
After a phone company billing representative
testified that the call actually occurred at 6:19PM, or when Kim, Brad
and Jill were still at Brad's swim practice, the prosecution then
changed their theory once again. Theory three said that Dave still
snuck out of the games, but at some time or another, murdered his
family, cleaned and manipulated the crime scene, and returned with a
bloody shirt and shoes to the gym. All three theories had him acting
What about the other 11 people present at the games
who said he never left and never saw any bloody clothing or change in
demeanor? According to prosecutor Faith they were either lying or
mistaken about not seeing him leave or return. All 11 of them. Again,
of course, they only were liars after the prosecution changed the
timing of when the murders occurred.
During the trial testimony of Stites, he testified
that after he examined the T-shirt and prior to Camm's arrest, he
telephonically spoke with his mentor Rod Englert. In that phone call,
Stites described the eight stains in Area 30 as being a result of high
velocity. Englert, according to Stites, then told Stites that he was
doing a good job. According to Stites, Englert then, over the phone,
and without seeing the T-shirt, agreed that the eight tiny stains were
Stites testimony was naturally buttressed by the
later testimony of Englert who had originally dispatched Stites to the
crime scene. The well-known Englert first provided the jury with his
personalized tutorial on blood stains. Englert then testified that
Stites had based his Camm opinion on high velocity being the cause of
the eight tiny stains on a previous case the two had just worked, as
well as on "his (Stites) experience and knowledge and having
experience in many other cases also."
Terry Laber, the highly-respected blood expert and
State of Minnesota forensic laboratory scientist, countered Englert's
testimony that the eight tiny stains originated from contact and not
from projected blood. The lower portion and hem of Dave's T-shirt had
simply come in contact with Jill's bloody hair as he removed Brad from
the back seat and then gave him CPR in a desperate attempt to save him.
Indeed, if the eight tiny stains were blowback, then one would expect
additional blood misting on the shorts that Dave was wearing. There
was no blood on his shorts, further indicating that the T-shirt, which
was hanging loosely from Dave’s body, was the only garment that came
in contact with Jill’s bloody hair.
(It should be noted at this juncture that Blood
Stain Pattern Analysis, or BSPA, is not a science. It is simply an
opinion rendered by someone who purportedly knows what he or she is
talking about. On the other hand, matching fingerprints or DNA
profiles is a science and not an opinion. Of the eleven BSPA "experts"
who were eventually deposed or testified in the Camm cases, five
claimed that the eight tiny blood spots on area 30 of Dave's T-shirt
was high velocity misting, or the result of blowback from a bullet
striking Jill; five said it was transfer consistent with Dave removing
his son from the backseat of the Bronco and his shirt touching his
daughter's bloody hair; and one, a former FBI Agent, said he didn't
know. The five who claimed that it was high velocity didn't agree with
one another as to the basis of their opinions, however, with one
person simply claiming that he knew it when he saw it.)
Several key pieces of evidence were either ignored
as "artifacts" or not pursued. The most critical "artifact" was a
sweatshirt found at the crime scene that bore the hand-printed name of
BACKBONE in the collar. That sweatshirt, which also had the DNA of an
unknown male and unknown female, as well as the blood of Kim and
Bradley Camm, was ignored by the police and prosecution after they
failed to connect David Camm to it. Indeed, one of the interrogators
of Camm lied when he told Camm that the other basketball players had
seen him wearing the sweatshirt the night of the murders. When that
lie failed, the prosecution simply claimed that the sweatshirt was
part of the crime scene manipulation and didn’t pursue any attempt at
finding the true owner.
Because the judge allowed testimony about Dave's
infidelities and because of the molestation allegation, the actual
conviction in his first trial was but a mere formality. Jury members
acknowledged that the argument about him molesting his little girl was
critical to their decision. He was sentenced to 195 years in the
Indiana State Prison in March, 2002.
The case was over and many of the parties moved on.
Faith, the prosecutor who later claimed that an unexplained sweatshirt
at the crime scene bearing the hand printed name of BACKBONE on the
collar was "much ado about nothing," used his notoriety to run for
office again. His chief deputy, Susan Orth, who claimed that the
investigation was "very, very thorough," used the publicity to run for
and be elected judge, replacing the retiring judge who presided over
the Camm trial.
Sean Clemons was the lead ISP detective who made
numerous false assertions or assumptions in the probable cause
the crime scene being manipulated (Kim's shoes
were on top of the Bronco)
the blood of Kim having a foreign substance added
to it (it was the natural phenomena of serum separation);
witnesses claiming that Dave left the basketball
game around 9:00PM (rather than at 9:22PM)
his (erroneous) interpretation of three sounds as
gunshots which occurred between 9:15-9:30PM. Clemons testified at
length in the trial and was later promoted to Sergeant.
David Camm moved on as well...to the Indiana State
Prison in Michigan City, Indiana, where he began serving his sentence
in the Protective Custody Unit. He was a former Indiana State Trooper
who was at distinct risk of being physically harmed or killed if
incarcerated with the general prison population.
Members of Dave's family didn't move on. They
stayed true not to their belief that Dave was innocent but their
conviction that he was innocent. Family members were present with Dave
playing basketball at the church gym when Kim and the children were
brutally slaughtered. Those family members as well as the other ball
players, many of whom were not relatives, have never wavered that Dave
never left the gym. They know that he couldn't have killed his family...he
was with them playing basketball.
Sam Lockhart was one of the basketball players who
was playing ball on September 28, 2000. Sam is the uncle of Dave and
he and his family have expended whatever savings they have accumulated
in their lives to seek and secure justice for Dave. Dave's parents,
Susie and Don Camm, now in their 70's, have mortgaged practically
everything they own in their quest for justice. Dave's brothers and
sister and their families, as well as a host of other family members
and other individuals have continued to be unwavering in their support
After the conviction, Sam and the family secured
the appellate services of two attorneys who, after reading the
transcript and speaking with witnesses, knew that justice had been
denied for Dave. They also reached a startling conclusion that is rare
among defense attorneys. Dave not only had been denied justice, but he
was also innocent.
Those lawyers used their legal acumen to author an
appeal which was eventually heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals. In
an opinion handed down on August 10, 2004, the conviction of David
Camm was reversed. The reversal was based upon the court noting that
Camm's conviction was based in part upon the prosecution painting Dave
as a bad character for his previous infidelities. There would be no
such “evidence” allowed in any retrial according to the Appellate
As to the argument allowed by the judge that Dave
had molested his daughter, the Court also stated that "the trial court
will need to carefully consider whether the highly inflammatory nature
of this evidence substantially outweighs the probative value of any
evidence that Camm molested Jill." In short, the court said that
evidence needed to be presented that linked Dave to the injuries of
his little girl in order for such an allegation to be made. No such
evidence had ever been presented.
That Appellate Court also noted that the basketball
players "all agreed that Camm was there the entire time and that even
though he sat out at least one game, he did not leave the gym." The
court also made a comment rarely seen in such decisions, "(W)e are
left with the definite possibility that the jury might have found Camm
not guilty of murdering his wife and two children if it had not been
exposed to a substantial amount of improperly admitted and unfairly
Many people think that David Camm's conviction was
reversed because of a technicality. It isn't a technicality when false
allegations abound. It isn't a technicality when the prosecutor, with
the consent of the judge, is allowed to argue that a person committed
the heinous crime of molestation without a shred of evidence. The
whole process went against the very grain of our system of justice,
the basic foundation of which is due process and fundamental fairness.
The new Floyd County prosecutor was Keith Henderson,
who was also a former Indiana State Trooper. He took the Appeals Court
decision under advisement and then later stated that he had organized
a "Fresh Eyes" investigation, also headed by the ISP, to look into the
case. There are those who couldn’t understand how the new
investigation could be “fresh” and unbiased if the same agency which
was involved in the first investigation were also involved in the
second investigation. Nonetheless, the ISP began their new
investigation on September 3, 2004. Nothing had been done since Dave’s
conviction in March, 2002, because, of course, the ISP and the
prosecutor had solved the case.
After the "Fresh Eyes" investigated the case for a
little over two months, on November 16, 2004, Henderson, who said that
almost 20 interviews had been conducted in the new investigation, re-charged
Dave with the murders of his wife and children, using a probable cause
affidavit sworn to by ISP Detective Gary Gilbert. Twenty interviews
was the extent of their new investigation.
Included in that new affidavit was yet the same
refuted allegation that a telephone call had been made from the Camm
residence at 7:19PM. Detective Gilbert also saw fit to include
information from Detective Sam Sarkisian that there had been sexual
devices taken from the Camm residence and that “the trauma to Jill
Camm's vaginal area is consistent with a sexual device and/or a penis.”
Nothing was said about those devices being tested negatively for
Jill’s DNA or that the injuries suffered by Jill were the result of
non-specific blunt force trauma.
What forensic evidence was tested, analyzed or
matched? Nothing. The "Fresh Eyes" investigation didn't conduct any
tests or attempt to secure any matches of unknown fingerprints or DNA
with known prints or profiles. No one tried to determine the owner of
the BACKBONE sweatshirt nor did anyone try to find the answers to the
many unanswered questions that lay in the forensic evidence. The
forensic evidence was ignored, other than the previously purchased
blood spatter opinion of the state's two primary witnesses, the cost
of which was borne by Floyd County in the amount of $280,000.
The "Fresh Eyes" didn’t interview any of the
basketball players other than Sam Lockhart, who requested a meeting
with the new investigators and who literally begged them to attempt to
find the owner of the BACKBONE sweatshirt by running a DNA check. The
investigators met with other Camm family members and they, too,
requested that the police try and find the owner of the BACKBONE
sweatshirt and the DNA on it. The “Fresh Eyes” ignored these earnest,
simple, and very legitimate requests.
There was a bombshell in the new affidavit, however,
and that was the revelation that Dave had confessed to someone. That
person turned out to be a prison inmate who was a prolific drug dealer
and escape artist. He was a career informant who had also claimed that
two other inmates had confessed their murders to him. His story was
that Dave said that he had shot and killed Kim in the car as it sat
outside the garage. There was no denying that the evidence was that
Kim was outside the car and in the garage when she was murdered. That
didn't stop the prosecution from using his story, however. A story
sold by a serial informant that didn"t comport with the agreed-upon
facts was the complete extent of their new evidence prior to David
Camm being recharged.
That source of that new information, career
criminal James B. Hatton, was later allowed to petition his trial
court for a sentence modification after he testified in Camm's second
trial. The judge allowed him to also be freed on an ankle bracelet on
home detention, pending the resolution of his modification, even
though he had served less than six years of a 25 year sentence for
methamphetamine production and for escape. Hatton was released from
prison and then simply walked away from his home detention in December,
2006. He is currently a fugitive.
The new defense attorneys were, however, successful
in having the case transferred from Floyd County to Warrick County,
just east of Evansville, where Judge Robert Aylsworth was to be the
presiding judge. It was a given that David Camm couldn't get a fair
trial in Floyd County. That would hopefully change in Warrick County.
On January 26, 2005, the defense argued in Warrick
County that David Camm should be released on bond pending his trial.
Much of the argument dealt with the fact that Dave had been convicted
on blood stain evidence which the Appellate Court called the "battle
of the experts."
In order to agree to such a reduction in bond, from
no bond to one of only $20,000, the case had to have been seen as very
weak. When the judge ordered Camm released on a $20,000 bond,
Prosecutor Henderson and the citizens of Floyd County were shocked and
At that same bond hearing on January 26, 2005, the
defense advised the prosecution of the intent to file a motion which
would compel them to act on much of the forensic evidence. A critical
part of that motion was that the unknown DNA profiles be run through
the national DNA database in order to attempt to find the owner of the
Only when faced with the defense motion to compel
testing did the police finally attempt to match the unknown DNA with
the national DNA database in February, 2005. They were shocked to find
out that the DNA belonged to Charles Darnell Boney, an 11-time
convicted felon who had a history of violently attacking and
kidnapping women. Boney, known as BACKBONE in prison, was also a shoe
freak, having previously attacked women for their shoes. That quickly
explained why Kim's shoes had been neatly placed on top of her Bronco
at the crime scene. Boney had been released from prison just three
months prior to the murders after serving only eight years of a 20
year sentence for two armed robberies and the kidnapping of three
Boney had made a startling admission when arrested
previously for his assaults on women in order to steal their shoes. He
said that he had an escape plan and that plan was to wear a sweatshirt
to the scene of the crime and to later remove it so he wouldn't match
any possible witness descriptions.
(It was only months later, and after the defense
was attempting to possibly link the unknown female DNA found on the
sweatshirt with that of Boney’s girlfriend, did the ISP finally match
that unknown female DNA with Mala Singh, Boney's girlfriend at the
time of the murders. It was mixed with blood from Kim. Rather than
pursue the possibility that she was with Boney at the crime scene,
however, they used a story (that changed significantly over time) from
her that allowed her to retain her freedom.)
An incredible aspect of the sweatshirt and the
unknown male DNA was that the first prosecutor, Stan Faith, not only
knew about the DNA but claimed that he told the ISP to run it in the
national database. The ISP didn't run the DNA and later claimed that
the prosecutor didn't tell them about it. As a result, the DNA was
ignored for years, both by the initial investigators and by the “Fresh
Eyes” investigators until the defense mandated that the DNA profile be
run in the database.
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
The new affidavit also alleged that Dave's brother,
Danny Camm, had forged Kim's signature on a life insurance policy
which had been obtained only months before the murders. That affidavit
didn't say anything about Kim being the one responsible for the
family's financial affairs and also the one responsible for securing
life insurance. Indeed, when she obtained the new life insurance,
through Danny, most of the increases were on Dave, who had lost his
group policy after leaving the ISP.
The allegation of fraud by Danny Camm was later
dropped. In a bond hearing in June, 2005, Detective Gilbert said that
he had been told by someone that Danny Camm had forged Kim's signature
but that the information wasn't correct. Detective Gilbert had sworn,
under oath, to the authenticity of that allegation and then simply
dismissed it months later.
The third affidavit also followed in the same
manner as the two preceding it. Pertinent parts of the story were left
out. For example, there was no mention of the ever-changing,
inconsistent and contradictory stories told by Boney. Neither did the
affidavit tell of Boney's violent criminal background other than to
simply note that he had been released from the Indiana State Prison (not
accurate) in June, 2000 for armed robbery. Nothing was said about his
previous convictions for assaulting women for their shoes, his threats
to shoot women in the head or his armed abduction of three women.
The new charges now afforded Henderson the ability
to charge David Camm, which he did, in Floyd County. Only a few months
before, Henderson had agreed with the defense argument that Dave
couldn't get a fair trial in Floyd County and had been intimately
involved in selecting Warrick County as the new venue for the second
Camm trial. Henderson was now claiming that there wouldn't be a
problem in securing a fair trial in Floyd County.
The defense team refused to recognize that the old
venue of Floyd County was legitimate and subsequently filed a Writ of
Mandamus with the Indiana Supreme Court challenging the change of
venue. Such writs are rarely heard by the Supreme Court (less than 2%)
but it did agree to hear the arguments in the Camm case. Three months
passed but the Supreme Court, in a unanimous 5-0 ruling, ordered
Dave's trial back to Warrick County. During those three months the
prosecutor refused to provide discovery to the Camm defense team.
In the months leading up to the second trial the
defense team continued to interview many possible witnesses and
develop promising leads. One witness, Victor Nugent, was found by the
defense in mid-March, 2005. Nugent was a co-worker of Boney’s at
Anderson Woods in Louisville who also missed work, as did Boney, on
the evening of September 28, 2000. Nugent lied repeatedly to the
defense and then later to the “Fresh Eyes” investigators about the
source of a gun that he reluctantly admitted selling to Boney. Nugent
claimed that the gun was a .38 revolver that he simply found in a tire
in a van that he had purchased.
Nugent denied selling a .380 to Boney, although
other co-workers heard Nugent complaining that Boney hadn’t paid him
for a gun he had sold to him. One of those co-workers saw Boney with a
semi-automatic in his backpack at work near the same time of Nugent's
The defense also located a friend of Nugent's who
said that Nugent admitted to him that he did sell a .380 to Boney.
That information was provided to the “Fresh Eyes” investigators but
they said that they didn’t read much of the discovery provided to them
by the defense. They dismissed Nugent as insignificant and didn’t
pursue him as the source of the weapon.
The prosecution was approached by the mother of yet
another inmate who wanted to help them. He also claimed that Dave also
confessed to him that he had murdered his wife and children. The
second inmate, Jeremy Bullock, claimed that Dave told him that he
played basketball very hard while he was at the gym so that he would
be noticed by the other players but that he left in the middle of the
games. Does that make any sense? If someone is playing hard and then
goes missing, wouldn't he be missed all the more? How does that
account for the fact that the one game he did sit out it was with a
church elder and that the two spoke during the entire time Dave didn't
Bullock, who confessed at age 16 to planning and
then murdering his drug dealer, also said that Dave said that he
committed the murders because Kim was leaving him. Was there evidence
of that? There is no such evidence and on the contrary, Kim and Dave
were talking about buying a bigger house with a swimming pool which
would be closer to the kids' school. The two were making more money
than they ever had and Dave's new job was not only affording him more
money but also a better schedule to be with his family.
The prosecution was relying on two prison
informants to buttress their case. David Camm, who has never wavered
in the fact that he didn't kill his family, supposedly picked two
inmates, at random, to confess that he killed his family. Those two
informants were able to testify, however, thus allowing the jury to
hear that Dave was incarcerated with two felons in the Indiana State
Prison. Allowing the jury to hear that Dave was incarcerated meant
that they therefore knew that he had been previously convicted. That
was as important as the two stories.
Remember also that each one of the informants came
forward and told of Dave's "confessions" prior to Boney's DNA being
matched to the BACKBONE sweatshirt. What did the two informants say
about Dave's co-conspirator? Nothing. Their stories didn't involve
anyone who supposedly helped Dave. The fact that the inmates' stories
didn't comport with the prosecution's theory that Dave and Boney acted
together didn't stop the prosecution from using them at trial.
The defense found and interviewed several other
inmates who were incarcerated with Dave and the two informants. Those
other inmates, who had not been interviewed by the police or
prosecution, refuted the claims of the two informants that Dave had
confessed. Hatton was a well-known informant who wasn't trusted, not
only by other inmates, but by police officers who knew him well.
Bullock had bragged that he hated cops and was going to lie against
Prior to Camm’s trial, at least two other inmates
in the Floyd County jail also attempted to gain favor with the
prosecution in exchange for their stories. One inmate was telling
other inmates that the prosecution needed someone to connect Boney and
Camm together and that they would get a good deal if they did so.
Their stories were so jumbled that they weren't used but only after
the defense found other witnesses who told of their plans to sell
their testimony in exchange for reduced sentences.
Hatton and Bullock, however, both benefited after
their testimony for the state. As noted, Hatton, after his release on
house arrest, fled and he is now a fugitive. Bullock was allowed to
move from the prison at Michigan City to the Pendleton Reformatory
where his family, residing nearby, could visit him more frequently.
During the second trial, which began on January 9,
2006, the judge refused to allow the defense to use Dave's 6th
Amendment right to present evidence that Charles Boney was responsible
for the murders. Boney's confession to the defense investigator as
well as another confession, "I've got three (murders) under my belt"
wasn't allowed, nor was any of his improbable story of being at the
crime scene and looking into the car out of "curiosity" sake. His
placement of the shoes on top of the car along with the rest of his
story wasn't allowed.
Boney's criminal signature, his foot and shoe
fetish, his violence towards women, his “escape plan” using a
sweatshirt, and the fact that he was given a clear alternative to the
death penalty in return for him incriminating David Camm was not
The judge, upon a motion filed by the defense, was
required by law to dismiss the conspiracy charge against Dave because
there was absolutely no evidence submitted by the prosecution that
there had been any such conspiracy. The prosecutors never placed any
witness on the stand that ever placed Boney with David Camm. The only
"witness" was Charles Boney. The judge acquitted Dave of the
conspiracy charge, but only after effectively apologizing to the
prosecution for doing so.
During the second trial, there were a total of
eight experts who testified about the blood on Area 30 of Dave's T-shirt
which contained the blood of his daughter. The four prosecution
experts all came to the same conclusion that the eight tiny drops of
blood in Area 30 was deposited as a result of high velocity impact
spray (HVIS) but they couldn't agree as to what made the blood on the
The State’s prime expert, Rodney Englert admitted
during cross-examination that he didn't know that blood wasn't on the
periodic table of elements. He also claimed that a basic knowledge of
chemistry, physics, and blood viscosity wasn’t important when it came
to identifying the source of blood stains.
Rod Englert, however, is admired by many as an
individual who does a great sales job with juries. It was Englert,
another crime scene re-constructionist, who claimed that Dave was
squatted down in front of Jill in the backseat of the Bronco when he
shot and killed her and Brad. The basis of that testimony stemmed from
Englert’s assertion that blood on the back of Dave’s T-shirt was the
result of contact with the rear of the front passenger seat which had
been deposited there by high velocity misting. Englert had never
proffered that opinion before, not in the first trial or in his
depositions. That was new testimony. None of the other seven experts
thought that the stain on the rear of the shirt was high velocity
blood that was transferred to the shirt, but rather they all
considered it to be a simple transfer of blood. Rod Englert was able
to testify to something that seven others could not.
The four defense blood experts testified that the
eight blood stains on Area 30 were a result of transfer or contact
with blood from Jill. Those experts were Bart Epstein, the former
forensic chief of the Minnesota State Crime Laboratory; Paulette
Sutton, the Assistant Director of Forensic Services at the Regional
Forensic Center in Memphis, Tennessee; Paul Kish, textbook author and
recognized blood expert who was on the Executive Board of the FBI’s
Scientific Working Group on Blood Stain Pattern Analysis (SWGSTAIN);
and Stuart James, a forensic scientist, former chief toxicologist,
clinical chemist, SWGSTAIN member, and author of textbooks on blood
The jury was greatly aided, however, in their
deliberations by what Judge Aylsworth allowed the prosecution to argue
in their final argument. The judge ruled that the prosecution could
argue that Jill was molested by her father. Incredibly enough, the
Judge said that he couldn't prevent the prosecution from making such
an argument, stating, "I don't believe it's my prerogative to restrict
the argument as to any matters of evidence or in evidence, and I'll
let you argue those as you please, and the jury can determine whether
or not it has any merit."
The judge, whose job is to make definitive
determinations on whether it is permissible to even admit certain "evidence,"
completely ignored, in the opinion of many people, the Court of
Appeals ruling. He even contradicted his previous rulings during the
trial. The prosecution was allowed to argue that Dave molested his
child even though not one scintilla of evidence existed that he had
Later, in another ruling after the trial, Judge
Aylsworth also acknowledged that, "the evidence allowed to be admitted
at trial did not in and of itself indicate such propensities (molestation)
on the part of the defendant, or the existence at least on the surface
of anything other than a natural father and daughter relationship
between the defendant and his daughter."
To put it mildly, that's illogical. The judge said
that Dave and Jill had a natural father and daughter relationship but
there could have been something that wasn't “on the surface.” A judge
who is supposed to ensure that fundamental fairness and due process
are the foundations of his court allowed allegations of molestation
without any evidence. An allegation, without any evidence whatsoever,
was allowed to be argued as fact.
The judge justified his decision by claiming that
both sides had the opportunity to litigate the "existence of and time
of molestation" but ignored the Appellate Court's strict warning to "carefully
consider whether the highly inflammatory nature of this evidence
substantially outweighs the probative value of any evidence that Camm
molested Jill." Many of the courtroom observers also thought that the
judge also ignored the testimony of the pathologist who conducted
Jill's autopsy who said that the injuries were non-specific and could
have resulted from a myriad of other reasons other than molestation.
(On February 11, 2008, the Indiana Attorney General
filed a response to the appeal filed by Camm's attorneys after his
second conviction. In that response, the Attorney General acknowledged
that the State had presented no evidence that David Camm was the
source of the genitalia injuries suffered by Jill, yet still argued
that it was permissible to allege that he molested his daughter. )
Judge Aylsworth refused to admit the two
confessions of Charles Boney and refused to allow the defense to
introduce other critical evidence against Boney, including his flunked
polygraph, his criminal signature, and his ever-changing and totally
unbelievable stories, yet he allowed prosecutor Henderson to claim
that Dave not only molested Jill but that Kim had confronted Dave
about that and was going to leave him. There was absolutely no
evidence whatsoever or any confrontation or that Kim was going to
With the final words that Henderson uttered to the
jury, he was able to have the most poisonous words that the jury heard
prior to their being given their instructions from the judge. Those
final words, "molested his daughter" tainted every other aspect of the
trial and were instrumental in the jury finding Dave guilty.
Robert Crowell, the jury foreman, was later quoted
as saying, "I think there are a number of things that were strong, but
that timeline, I think, on the molestation is critical," he said. "We
were convinced that what happened to Jill could not have happened
anytime after 7:30 PM that night." Crowell further added, "If it had
been only the impact spatter, I think we would have had a much longer
There was no evidence whatsoever of any molestation
by Dave, but the jury came to that conclusion. The harsh words of
Prosecutor Henderson resonated in the jury room and the need to have
proof beyond a reasonable doubt vanished with the allegation that Dave
had molested his precious little daughter. That heinous allegation
trumped 11 eyewitnesses and simple common sense.
The jury later recommended a sentence of life
without parole and less than a month after the guilty verdicts, Judge
Aylsworth sentenced Dave to that mandatory life sentence.
In obtaining the two convictions, the police and
prosecutors relied upon an expert who wasn't, ignored mountains of
evidence, came up with four different theories of when and how David
Camm committed murder, labeled 11 eyewitnesses as mistaken or liars,
publicly supported a kidnapper and armed robber, relied upon drug
dealers/murderers for witnesses, dismissed the possible source of the
murder weapon, and spent literally millions of dollars in public funds.
The prosecutor, whose claims of a conspiracy
between Boney and Camm secured headlines and lead stories, nonetheless
fought vigorously to prevent any of Boney's statements or confessions
from being allowed in the Camm trial. Sadly, the State of Indiana
obtained two convictions through character assassination, speculation,
and the failure of a judge to allow the defense to present critical
The two trials and two appeals, in addition to the
cost of the experts and other associated costs have, to date, cost the
taxpayers of Floyd County over $2 million. That doesn't include the
costs associated with conducting the investigation and prosecution of
the most investigated crime ever by the Indiana State Police. It also,
of course, doesn't include the enormous costs, financial and emotional,
borne by the families of the slain.
Many people, after learning of the events that have
occurred in this case, have righteously asked the question, "What
aren't you telling me?" This website will hopefully answer that
question and more. Many will rightfully have a difficult time
believing that this monumental injustice occurred and that it is still
being perpetuated by the State of Indiana. They will fail to
comprehend why David Camm was convicted of a crime he didn't commit.
David Camm is currently imprisoned at the Pendleton,
Indiana Reformatory and his family, supporters and defense team are
still seeking justice for him and his slain family.
David R. Camm appeals his three convictions for the
murder of his wife and two children. We reverse.
The dispositive issue we address today is whether
the trial court committed reversible error by allowing the State to
present extensive evidence of extramarital sexual activity by Camm.
For retrial purposes, we also address other issues that Camm has
The evidence most favorable to the convictions is
that on the evening of September 28, 2000, Camm shot and killed his
wife Kim and their children, seven-year-old Brad and five-year-old
Jill, at their home in Georgetown. The shooting took place in the
Camms’ garage, apparently sometime after 7:30 p.m., when Kim and the
children would have been due to arrive home from Brad’s swimming
Camm’s version of events was that he was playing
basketball at a nearby church from 7:00 p.m. until approximately 9:20
p.m., after which he drove home and found Kim, whom he immediately
thought was dead, lying on the ground next to her Bronco. He then
claimed to have looked inside the vehicle and found Jill and Brad.
Camm thought Brad might still be alive, so he reached in over Jill,
removed him from the Bronco, placed him on the garage floor next to
Kim, and began performing CPR. When this proved futile, Camm said he
called the Sellersburg Indiana State Police post for help, then ran
across the street to his grandfather’s house to tell his uncle, who
was staying there, what had happened. Camm had been a State Police
trooper for many years, but had quit the force several months earlier
to work for a family business that, among other things, waterproofed
During the State’s case-in-chief, it
presented the testimony of twelve women who had had various types of
relationships with Camm since 1991. At one end of the romantic
spectrum were three women with whom Camm had had prolonged sexual
relationships, the most recent of which occurred in 1997. Camm had a
relationship with one of these women, Stephanie Neely, while he was
separated from Kim in 1994 and had moved out of the family home and
into an apartment. On the other end of the spectrum were two women to
whom Camm apparently made implied sexual advances, such as offering to
take care of one woman’s basement waterproofing bill in “other ways.”
Tr. p. 2848.
Two other women testified as to more overt sexual
overtures that they had rebuffed. The remaining five women, who had
varying levels of acquaintanceship with Camm, had had at least one
instance of sexual contact with Camm, including kissing, fondling and,
in some instances, intercourse, but little else besides what the women
described as extensive flirting. Some of the women were asked during
their testimony to divulge details of their relationships with Camm,
such as when, where, and how they engaged in sexual activities,
including such details as the shaving of pubic hair. Camm filed a
motion in limine challenging the admissibility of this evidence and
repeated his objection at trial. He argues that the admission of this
evidence was an attack on his character not admissible for any proper
purpose under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b).
A trial court has broad discretion in ruling on the
admissibility of evidence, and we will disturb its rulings only where
it is shown that the court abused that discretion. Griffith v. State,
788 N.E.2d 835, 839 (Ind. 2003). Evidence Rule 404(b) provides in
Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove
the character of a person in order to show action in conformity
therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as
proof of motive, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or
absence of mistake or accident . . . .
“This rule prevents the State from punishing people
for their character . . . .” Bassett v. State, 795 N.E.2d 1050, 1053
(Ind. 2003). Evidence of other wrongs or acts poses the danger that a
jury may convict a defendant because his or her “general character” is
bad. Id. (quoting Gibbs v. State, 538 N.E.2d 937, 939 (Ind. 1989)). In
determining the admissibility of extrinsic act evidence under Evidence
Rule 404(b), courts must: (1) determine whether the evidence of other
crimes, wrongs, or acts is relevant to a matter at issue other than
the person’s propensity to engage in a wrongful act; and (2) balance
the probative value of the evidence against its prejudicial effect
pursuant to Evidence Rule 403. Id. Otherwise admissible evidence may
be rendered inadmissible “if its probative value is substantially
outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice . . . .” Ind. Evidence
The State asserts that this evidence was offered to
establish motive. With respect to the motive “exception” in Evidence
Rule 404(b), our supreme court has said that motive is “always
relevant” when proving a crime. Ross v. State, 676 N.E.2d 339, 346
(Ind. 1996). It is clear, however, that just because motive is “always
relevant,” this does not mean the State can introduce questionable
character evidence simply by labeling it evidence of “motive.” If the
State’s claim of relevance to motive is too strained and remote to be
reasonable, then the extrinsic act evidence is inadmissible. See
Bassett, 795 N.E.2d at 1053.
Our supreme court has also said that evidence of
extrinsic acts may be relevant as proof of motive if the acts “show
the relationship between the defendant and the victim.” Ross, 676 N.E.2d
at 346. This rationale has been used to uphold the introduction of
evidence of prior violence or threats by the defendant against the
victim in a trial alleging the battery or homicide of the victim. See
id.; Price v. State, 619 N.E.2d 582, 584 (Ind. 1993). Specifically,
“where a relationship between parties is characterized by frequent
conflict, evidence of the defendant’s prior assaults and
confrontations with the victim may be admitted to show the
relationship between the parties and motive for committing the crime—‘hostility.’”
Spencer v. State, 703 N.E.2d 1053, 1056 (Ind. 1999).
Neither party has cited to this court, nor has our
own research revealed, any Indiana case that has discussed the
admissibility, as evidence of motive, of a defendant’s adulterous
affairs in a trial where the defendant is accused of killing his or
her spouse. The Indiana case closest to being on point appears to be
Henson v. State, 530 N.E.2d 768 (Ind. Ct. App. 1988), trans. denied.
In that case, a wife was charged with the voluntary manslaughter of
her husband. On cross-examination of the wife, the State questioned
her regarding several alleged instances of adultery; her answers to
the questions were equivocal.
Thereafter, on rebuttal the State presented four
witnesses to the affairs. We reversed the wife’s conviction, holding
(1) that the State’s cross-examination regarding adultery was outside
the scope of the wife’s direct examination and (2) that the rebuttal
evidence of the affairs was immaterial and “had no relevance to [the
wife’s] guilt or innocence.” Id. at 770. We further stated, “We can
find no basis for the State’s introduction of the rebuttal testimony
other than to prejudice the jury against [the wife].” Id. The opinion
does not address, however, whether the adultery evidence could have
been relevant to establishing motive, presumably because that was not
argued by the State. Nevertheless, Henson does evidence healthy
skepticism about the relevance and admissibility of evidence of
extramarital affairs by a defendant charged with killing his or her
There is a general paucity of cases throughout the
country discussing the issue of adultery as evidence of motive to kill
See footnote However, we
have discovered that the Supreme Court of Mississippi has addressed
precisely this issue in detail and in a manner that appears to us
entirely consistent with Indiana case law and Indiana Evidence Rule
Lesley v. State, 606 So. 2d 1084 (Miss.
1992), a wife was convicted of conspiring with a lover to murder her
husband. The wife admitted to the affair with the accused lover.
However, the husband was also allowed to testify as to two other men
with whom his wife allegedly had had extramarital affairs in previous
years. The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the wife’s conviction
based upon its application of Mississippi Evidence Rule 404(b), which
is virtually identical to Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b).
Id. at 1089-90. First, it noted that the
other two alleged affairs had occurred years before the conspiracy to
commit murder arose and thus were too chronologically remote. Id. at
1090. It also noted that the husband had failed to prove that the
alleged affairs had actually taken place. Id. Finally, and most
relevant to this case, the court stated:
Any extramarital affairs of Loretta Lesley other
than the affair with Hood [the current lover and alleged co-conspirator]
were not part of any chain of events leading to the planned murder of
Dale Lesley. Additionally, proof of previous extramarital affairs
lacked relevance into the murder conspiracy and was so prejudicial as
to fail any balancing test under Rule 403. Her alleged prior adultery
did not make it more likely than not that she committed conspiracy to
commit murder, and it did inflame any listener.
Id. The court held it was improper to use this
evidence “only to show that she had a motive for killing her husband
because she was unhappy in her marriage and had a reason for wanting
to ‘get rid’ of her husband. The only effect of such testimony was to
show the jury that she was a ‘bad woman.’” Id. The court also
distinguished the case before it from cases in other jurisdictions
that had allowed evidence of extramarital affairs to be introduced,
noting among other things that in the other cases the “evidence of
adultery was introduced in combination with evidence of violence or
current conduct [an ongoing affair at the time of the murder] to show
motive.” Id. at 1090-91 (citing State v. Green, 652 P.2d 697 (Kan.
1982) and Commonwealth v. Heller, 87 A.2d 287 (Pa. 1952)). We, too,
have discovered that insofar as evidence of adultery has sometimes
been admitted as evidence of motive in a murder trial in other
jurisdictions, such evidence has been that the defendant was engaged
in an affair at the time of the murder. See United States v. Stapleton, 730
F. Supp. 1375, 1378-79 (W.D. Va. 1990); Givens v. State, 546 S.E.2d
509, 512 (Ga. 2001).
In another case, the Seventh Circuit addressed the
admission into evidence of a defendant’s extramarital affair in a
trial for solicitation to murder the defendant’s wife. Cramer v.
Fahner, 683 F.2d 1376 (7th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 459
U.S. 1016, 103 S. Ct. 376. The court held that although the
prosecution failed to make a tie between adultery and motive as it had
claimed it would, the mention of the affair by the defendant’s co-conspirator
was relevant to explain the relationship between the defendant and co-conspirator
and why the murder plot was delayed: the defendant, an attorney, had
explained to the co-conspirator that he might have to order additional
murders if the mother-in-law of the woman with whom he had had an
affair, and who was the wife of one of his clients, continued to press
an ethical complaint with the bar. Id. at 1384. However, the court
went on to state that the trial court “should not have allowed
prolonged questioning on cross-examination of petitioner’s wife on her
knowledge of petitioner’s adultery and bar association problems . . .
.” Id. The court did not find this error to warrant habeas corpus
relief because the trial court had given a proper limiting instruction
regarding the evidence, the error did not deprive the defendant of
fundamental due process of law, and the evidence against the defendant
was strong. Id. at 1385.
We conclude it is clear from the above authorities
and Indiana law that evidence of a defendant’s marital infidelity is
not automatically admissible as proof of motive in a trial for murder
or attempted murder of the defendant’s spouse. Instead, to be
admissible as proof of motive, the State must do more than argue that
the defendant must have been unhappily married or was a poor husband
or wife, ergo he or she had a motive to murder his or her spouse. This
court has previously discussed and acknowledged the high rate of
marital infidelity in this country, with some studies estimating that
between thirty to fifty percent of women and fifty to seventy percent
of men have been unfaithful to their spouses. Jaunese v. State, 701
N.E.2d 1282, 1284 n.3 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998).
Rather, to be admissible, evidence of a defendant’s
extramarital affairs should be accompanied by evidence that such
activities had precipitated violence or threats between the defendant
and victim in the past, or that the defendant was involved in an
extramarital relationship at the time of the completed or contemplated
homicide. The admissibility of such evidence may be further
constrained by concerns of chronological remoteness, insufficient
proof of the extrinsic act, or the general concern that the unfair
prejudicial effect of certain evidence might substantially outweigh
its probative value in a particular case.
There was clearly sufficient proof of Camm’s
philandering, and at least some of his activities took place
relatively near in time to Kim’s murder. However, there was no
evidence of a violent or hostile relationship between Camm and his
wife, nor any evidence that he ever threatened her with harm. Camm did
apparently lose his temper in 1994 following a conflict over an affair
at a time when he and Kim apparently were separated. The only evidence
in the record with respect to this incident, which we will discuss in
more detail, was that Kim was not even present when Camm caused some
minor property damage in his home. There is no evidence that Camm ever
battered Kim or issued any threats, either to her directly or to
There was no evidence that Camm was involved in an
extramarital relationship at the time of Kim’s murder. Ten days before
the murder, Camm had apparently asked a woman with whom he had had a
relationship in 1992 and 1993 whether she would be interested in
having sex again, and she declined. Camm evidently had asked the same
or similar question of this woman on previous occasions. There is no
evidence that Camm and this woman, or any other woman, were involved
in a romantic relationship at the time of Kim’s murder.
Nonetheless, the State argues in its brief, “Under
the State’s theory, the Defendant did have a defect in his character
to allow him to engage in these acts. He did not act as a proper
husband and father.” Appellee’s Br. p. 23. This amounts to a virtual
concession that the evidence of Camm’s extramarital sexual escapades
was introduced to establish that he was a person of poor character who
was more likely to commit murder because of that character. This is
precisely what Evidence Rule 404(b) and volumes of case law prohibit.
The law simply does not allow the State to pursue conviction of a
defendant on the basis that his character is “defective.” This
principle has been recognized for many years. It represents the
cumulative wisdom and knowledge gleaned from hundreds, if not
thousands, of trials conducted over the years as to the inherent
unfairness of such evidence. Professor Wigmore observed 100 years ago:
The deep tendency of human nature is to punish, not
because our victim is guilty this time, but because he is a bad man
and may as well be condemned now that he is caught, is a tendency
which cannot help operating with any jury, in or out of court. . . .
Our rule, then, firmly and universally established in policy and
tradition, is that the prosecution may not initially attack the
John H. Wigmore,
A Treatise on the System of Evidence in
Trials at Common Law 1:126-27 (1904). See also Foreman v. State, 203
Ind. 324, 327, 180 N.E. 291, 292 (1932) (stating “general moral
character cannot be established on direct or redirect examination by
proof of particular acts or of remote extraneous crimes.”). We see no
indication that our supreme court wishes to discard Evidence Rule
404(b) and overrule numerous cases regarding the general
inadmissibility of bad character evidence. See, e.g., Bassett, 795 N.E.2d
at 1053. Nor, in our view, would such a momentous change in the law,
which would conflict with well-settled law throughout the country, be
appropriate. We therefore conclude the trial court abused its
discretion in allowing the State to introduce evidence of Camm’s
adulterous conduct in its case-in-chief because the tie between such
evidence and motive, or anything other than simply portraying Camm as
“bad,” is too strained and remote to be reasonable. See id. Even if
this evidence had minimal probative value as proof of motive, its
prejudicial effect substantially outweighed such value under Evidence
Rule 403, particularly given the extent to which the State emphasized
Closely related to the issue of the twelve women
who testified as to Camm’s adulterous nature during the State’s
case-in-chief, is the rebuttal testimony of a female guard at the jail
where Camm was awaiting trial, who testified that Camm said to her
shortly before her upcoming wedding “that I still had time for one
last fling.” Tr. p. 6984. Clearly, this evidence is along the same
lines as the inadmissible testimony of the twelve women who testified
during the State’s case-in-chief regarding Camm sexually
propositioning them. The State contends that Camm opened the door to
this evidence during his cross-examination by the prosecutor; it
offers no other basis for its admissibility.
During cross-examination, after the prosecutor
accused Camm of being self-centered, Camm said, “Right now it’s all
about Brad and Jill and Kim.” Tr. p. 6723. The prosecutor then asked
Camm whether he had propositioned the jail guard in November 2001;
Camm said that he could not recall doing so. The State points to
nothing on Camm’s direct examination that might have opened the door
to the guard’s testimony. Statements made by a defendant that are
elicited by the State on cross-examination cannot be relied upon to
“open the door” to otherwise inadmissible evidence. Newman v. State,
719 N.E.2d 832, 836 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999), trans. denied (2000); see
also Kien v. State, 782 N.E.2d 398, 409 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003) (holding
that although a party may inquire into a collateral matter on cross-examination,
“the questioner is bound by the answer received and may not impeach
the witness with extrinsic evidence unless the evidence would be
independently admissible.”), trans. denied; Rhodes v. State, 771 N.E.2d
1246, 1256 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002), trans. denied; Roth v. State, 550 N.E.2d
104, 105 n.1 (Ind. Ct. App. 1990), trans. denied. Thus, the guard’s
rebuttal testimony was improper.
The State argues that the admission of the evidence
of Camm’s sexual affairs and propositioning during its case-in-chief
and on rebuttal does not constitute reversible error because the trial
court gave admonishments and a limiting instruction regarding it. At
first, the trial court told the jury that the adultery evidence “has
been received on the issue of motive and for impeachment purposes” and
that the jury should only consider it for those purposes. Tr. p. 2755.
After the jury expressed confusion over how impeachment applied in the
case, the trial court modified the admonishment to “[t]his evidence
has been received on the issues of motive and credibility.” Tr. p.
2832. The trial court also gave a final instruction containing
identical language. See Tr. p. 7126.
It is true that a timely and accurate admonishment
is presumed to cure any error in the admission of evidence. Kirby v.
State, 774 N.E.2d 523, 535 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002), trans. denied. The
trial court’s admonishments and limiting instruction in this case did
not cure the error in the admission of evidence of Camm’s adultery.
First, the admonishments and instruction allowed the jury to consider
such evidence as proof of motive. We have held that the evidence was
not admissible for that purpose.
Second, the trial court originally admonished the
jury that it could consider the extramarital affair evidence for
impeachment purposes. This reference to impeachment undoubtedly was
confusing, because Camm had not testified to the contrary regarding
any of the incidents presented during the State’s case-in-chief. The
jury, in fact, expressed to the court its confusion over this
admonishment. To the extent the trial court then altered its
admonishment to say that the extramarital affair evidence could be
used for “credibility” purposes, without any limitation or definition
as to “credibility,” it allowed for the possibility that the jury
would have felt free to use the fact that Camm regularly cheated or
attempted to cheat on his wife to discount his testimony on any matter,
including his account of the events of September 28, 2000. Clearly,
this is the very thing that Evidence Rule 404(b), not to mention
Evidence Rule 608 governing and limiting “credibility” evidence,
See footnote are designed
to prevent: judging a defendant based upon evidence of poor character
and not upon evidence related to the present charges.
The State also argues briefly and without citation
to authority that it was allowed to introduce the testimony of the
women in order to “impeach” out-of-court statements Camm had made to
others, including police interrogators, regarding the overall good
state of his marriage to Kim at the time of the murders that the State
introduced into evidence during its case-in-chief. The failure to cite
authority waives this argument for our review.
Bartley v. State, 800 N.E.2d 193, 196
(Ind. Ct. App. 2003). This is especially true given that “impeachment”
is understood to refer to challenging a witness’ credibility with
respect to testimony, not the credibility of unsworn pretrial
statements. See, e.g., Black’s Law Dictionary 578 (7th ed.
1999) (defining “impeachment evidence” as “Evidence used to undermine
a witness’s credibility”).
Additionally, it was the State, not Camm, that
injected the issue of his relationship with Kim into the trial.
Clearly, the State here attempted to “bootstrap” otherwise
inadmissible evidence regarding Camm’s affairs into the trial by
arguing about it during opening statements and introducing out-of-court
statements made by Camm wherein he had discussed his relationship with
Kim. This is impermissible. See Willey v. State, 712 N.E.2d 434, 444
(Ind. 1999) (holding State could not “bootstrap” introduction of
hearsay statements regarding murder victim’s fear of defendant by
reading during opening argument defendant’s statement to the police
saying he had threatened the victim, and where defendant did not
attempt to portray relationship with victim as harmonious during his
opening statement). We have reviewed the opening statement of Camm’s
attorney and have found that, as in Willey, he did not place the issue
of Camm’s relationship with Kim into the trial or attempt to portray
their relationship as harmonious. Therefore, pursuant to Willey, the
State was not given carte blanche to delve into otherwise inadmissible
details of Camm’s personal life merely because he mentioned his
relationship with Kim in out-of-court statements.
See also Appleton v. State, 740 N.E.2d
122, 124 (Ind. 2001) (“Trials should principally proceed on the basis
of testimony given in court, not statements or affidavits obtained
Finally, the State argues that the admission of
this evidence was harmless. We disregard errors in the admission or
exclusion of evidence as harmless unless the errors affect the
substantial rights of the party. Wilson v. State, 770 N.E.2d 799, 802
(Ind. 2002) (citing Ind. Trial Rule 61). To determine whether an error
in the introduction of evidence affected a defendant’s substantial
rights, we must consider the probable impact of that evidence upon the
jury. Id. The question is not whether there is sufficient evidence to
support the conviction absent the erroneously admitted evidence, but
whether the evidence was likely to have had a prejudicial impact on
the jury. Currie v. State, 512 N.E.2d 882, 883-84 (Ind. Ct. App.
1987), trans. denied (1989). Here, although we cannot say the evidence
is insufficient to sustain Camm’s convictions as a matter of law on
appeal, we are left with the definite possibility that the jury might
have found Camm not guilty of murdering his wife and two children if
it had not been exposed to a substantial amount of improperly admitted
and unfairly prejudicial evidence concerning his extramarital affairs
and the State’s use of that evidence to portray Camm as a person of
poor character who was more likely to commit murder because of his
Eleven witnesses with varying degrees of
familiarity with Camm
See footnote testified
that he was playing basketball at a church at the time his wife and
children most likely were murdered; although not all eleven were on
precisely the same page as to the details of basketball games played
one and a half years earlier, they all agreed that Camm was there the
entire time and that even though he sat out at least one game, he did
not leave the gym.
The State’s claim in opening argument that Camm
made a phone call from his house at 7:19 p.m., which would have
refuted the alibi witnesses’ testimony that he was at the gym at that
time, was found to be incorrect upon examination of a Verizon employee
who testified that due to a software error concerning Indiana’s
unusual time zones, the call was placed instead at 6:19 p.m., when
Camm said he was at home and before he left to play basketball. The
State’s gunshot residue expert, who found some gunshot residue
particles on Camm’s clothing, clearly testified, “you can’t . . . make
that judgment” that such evidence meant Camm was present when the gun
was fired. Tr. p. 4590. There was some unexplained evidence found at
the scene of the crime, such as the presence of unidentified DNA found
on Kim’s and Brad’s pants, and a sweatshirt found underneath Brad that
had the word “Backbone” written on the tag that also had unidentified
DNA on it. The determination of Camm’s guilt essentially came down to
a “battle of the experts,” with the State’s blood spatter experts
claiming certain blood spots on Camm’s shirt that came from Jill were
high velocity spatter and Camm’s claiming it most likely was
transferred by contact.
The possibility clearly exists in this case that
the improper admission of evidence may have consciously or
subconsciously influenced which expert or experts the jury chose to
believe and the weight it assigned to the testimony of Camm’s alibi
witnesses, not to mention Camm’s own testimony.
Additionally, the State’s attempt
to minimize the impact of this evidence, by noting that “only”
thirteen witnesses testified about sexual advances by Camm out of
eighty total witnesses for the State, is unavailing. Appellee’s Br. p.
23. As Camm points out, in addition to the testimony of the thirteen
women, the State devoted the first approximately one-quarter of its
lengthy cross-examination of Camm to exploring his marital infidelity.
During opening argument, the State dwelled at length upon this
evidence, stating in part:
You will hear the Defendant was a predator of women.
Their marriage was plagued by the Defendant’s continuous affairs. And
these aren’t affairs based upon admiration and love. These were sexual
encounters that were disrespectful and humiliating. . . . He collected
and devoured women. . . . And you will hear that while married to Kim
those eleven years there were at least fifteen other women. . . . From
strippers, to co-workers, to professional women, married or unmarried,
the Defendant collected them just the same.
Tr. pp. 1216-17. The State began its closing
argument by again referring to this evidence extensively:
In November of 1994, the Defendant set himself upon
a journey that would end in a hail of gunfire, destroying not only his
family, but ultimately himself in an orgy of annihilation. In November
of 1994 the Defendant looked upon the surface charms of Stephanie
Neely, and having no ability to refute his whims, betrayed his wife
and kids. . . . The Defendant went back to Kim where he betrayed her
repeatedly and deliberately. He betrayed not only the honor of his
family, but the trust of his badge and the honor of his profession. He
used his power to prey upon vulnerable women, the ones they met, the
ones that he stopped. The Defendant cared for no one. He sought only
his pleasures and it pleased him to invite his secret lover into the
very presence of Kim. . . . He preyed upon woman after woman over the
years. The Defendant is a devourer of women. He cares nothing for his
immediate family, or extended family. He is willing to bring down upon
their heads a holocaust of extermination and destruction.
Tr. pp. 7065-67. We need say no more.
Clearly, the State’s portrayal of Camm as an immoral, self-centered
individual of poor character because of his philandering was central
to its case.
Where the evidence against a defendant is far from
overwhelming, as was the case here, and the determination of the jury
depends in large part on assessing and weighing the credibility of
witnesses, “it is paramount that the defendant be protected from
evidence which has only the effect of reflecting unfavorably on his
Lehiy v. State, 501 N.E.2d 451, 456 (Ind.
Ct. App. 1986), adopted by Lehiy v. State, 509 N.E.2d 1116 (Ind.
1987). Although we are cognizant of the great financial and emotional
expense invested in the first nine-week trial in this case, we cannot
allow these convictions to stand. We reverse.
See footnote Because Camm
does not assert that the evidence was insufficient to support his
convictions, he may be retried.
See Goble v. State, 766 N.E.2d 1, 7 (Ind.
Ct. App. 2002).
Camm has raised a number of other issues
with respect to the conduct of his trial. Because we have reversed on
the basis of the erroneous admission of evidence regarding Camm’s
extramarital sexual activities, we will not address many of these
issues in detail; some we will not address at all. However, for
purposes of guidance on retrial, we will mention some of Camm’s
First, Camm challenges the trial court’s allowing
one of Kim’s friends to relate a statement she made approximately
three weeks before the murders. Specifically, in response to a
question from the friend regarding Kim’s relationship with Camm, Kim
reportedly said, “History is repeating itself.” Tr. p. 2991. The State
essentially argues that the statement was not introduced as proof of
the matter asserted, i.e. Camm was again being unfaithful, and,
therefore, was not hearsay under Indiana Evidence Rule 801(c). Rather,
the State argues, the statement indirectly established Kim’s
dissatisfaction with her marriage, or her state of mind at the time of
the statement. If we assume the statement was not introduced for the
truth of the matter asserted, which is doubtful,
See footnote the State
technically is correct that the statement was not hearsay. A statement,
the substantive content of which does not directly assert the
declarant’s state of mind, is not hearsay if it is admitted only to
show the declarant’s state of mind.
Angleton v. State, 686 N.E.2d 803, 809
However, this does not relieve the burden of
establishing that the declarant’s state of mind is relevant under
Indiana Evidence Rule 402. See Willey, 712 N.E.2d at 444. Evidence of
a victim’s state of mind is relevant and admissible “(1) to show the
intent of the victim to act in a particular way, (2) when the
defendant puts the victim’s state of mind in issue, and (3) sometimes
to explain physical injuries suffered by the victim.” Hatcher v. State,
735 N.E.2d 1155, 1161 (Ind. 2000) (emphasis added). Camm did not put
Kim’s state of mind in issue in this case. Additionally, to the extent
the State argues the comment was admissible “as reflecting Kim’s
assessment of the marriage,” Appellee’s Br. p. 33, our supreme court
has expressly refused to allow “the admissibility of a victim’s state
of mind to show the nature of the relationship between the victim and
the defendant.” Hatcher, 735 N.E.2d at 1161. We conclude that the
statement “History is repeating itself” was inadmissible. Tr. p. 2991.
The trial court also allowed the State to introduce
evidence, through the testimony of three police officers, of a 1994
incident in which Camm lost his temper and caused some minimal
property damage to his house and household furnishings. The outburst
was apparently prompted by a confrontation, with either Kim or Camm’s
mother, regarding the separation and his affair with Stephanie Neely.
Camm’s mother called police to Camm’s house, but they filed no report
regarding the incident. There was no evidence that Kim was even
present at the house when Camm had lost his temper or that he had
threatened her with any harm. In Spencer v. State, our supreme court
stated that evidence of the defendant battering his girlfriend three
years before her murder was of low probative value because of the time
lapse between the prior incidents and the murder. 703 N.E.2d at 1056.
The court said it was “inclined to think this evidence should not have
been admitted, but cannot say that the trial court abused its
discretion” in doing so. Id.
Here, we are faced with an incident occurring six
years before the murders in which the only evidence is that Camm took
out his frustrations on household furnishings in Kim’s absence. With
the Spencer court’s holding that evidence of a battery occurring three
years before the victim’s murder was of low probative value, we
believe it was clearly wrong here to admit evidence here of a non-battery
occurring six years before the murders. The probative value of this
evidence was too miniscule and its potential prejudicial effect was
too high to be admissible.
The State also introduced evidence that Jill had
possibly been molested hours before her death. It argued that Camm was
likely the culprit and that he murdered Jill and the rest of his
family either to escape detection or after a confrontation with Kim
regarding the alleged molestation. The medical examiner who conducted
Jill’s autopsy testified that there was trauma to her genital region
consistent with either molestation or a straddle fall; there was no
penetration of the hymen, however. The State also presented evidence
that Jill had complained of vaginal irritation on at least two prior
occasions, the last time being a few days before the murders. Finally,
it presented evidence that some of Jill’s DNA was found on Camm’s
bedspread, which could have come from saliva or vaginal secretions.
However, none of Jill’s DNA was found in the two locations where
seminal material from Camm was also found on the bedspread. In fact,
at one of those locations Camm’s seminal material was mixed with Kim’s
Camm did not object to the introduction of this
evidence at trial. Therefore, we need not definitively resolve his
claim of error on this point. We would note our agreement that
evidence Camm had molested Jill would be relevant as proof of motive
under Evidence Rule 404(b). The closer question, it appears to us, is
whether the evidence the State presented on this point was
sufficiently probative to be admissible. The United States Supreme
Court, in analyzing Federal Rules of Evidence 404(b) and 104(b), has
held that in order for “other misconduct” evidence to be admissible,
there must be sufficient evidence from which the jury could reasonably
find the defendant’s misconduct proven by a preponderance of the
See Huddleston v. United States, 485 U.S.
681, 690, 108 S. Ct. 1496, 1501 (1988). Our supreme court has said,
“Indiana law is in accord with this requirement.” Clemens v. State,
610 N.E.2d 236, 242 (Ind. 1993). Additionally, even relevant evidence
may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by
the danger of unfair prejudice. Ind. Evidence Rule 403. Given the
arguments made on appeal, we anticipate in the event of a retrial that
Camm will object to the introduction of this evidence. If that is the
case, the trial court will need to carefully consider whether the
highly inflammatory nature of this evidence substantially outweighs
the probative value of any evidence that Camm molested Jill.
At trial, the State also presented the testimony of
William Chapin, an expert in microscopy, who stated his belief that a
very small particle of biological tissue found on Camm’s t-shirt was
likely deposited there by flight, although he could not say whether it
was high velocity flight. Camm’s attorney objected to this testimony,
noting that in Chapin’s report the State had disclosed to Camm during
discovery, Chapin had only offered the opinion that the particle in
question was biological and described how the particle was resting on
the shirt fibers, but had not stated an opinion as to how the particle
had come to rest on the t-shirt. Camm’s attorney asserted he was not
prepared to address this issue; the trial court responded by allowing
counsel to depose Chapin over lunch.
We recently addressed an issue similar to this in
Beauchamp v. State, 788 N.E.2d 881 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003). In that case,
we held it was reversible error for the State not to disclose that one
of its expert witnesses had changed his opinion regarding the cause of
a victim’s injuries. Id. at 893-94. The failure to disclose the change
of opinion violated both the trial court’s standing discovery order
and Indiana Trial Rule 26(E)(1). Id.
Here, it is true, Chapin apparently did not change
his opinion regarding any matter. It does appear, however, that he
augmented the opinion given in his earlier disclosed report to reach
the conclusion that the particle had been deposited by flight. It also
appears that the State was fully aware of this opinion and was
prepared to examine Chapin regarding it. Here, the trial court’s
standing discovery order through trial required the State to disclose
“[a]ny and all reports . . . or statements of experts made in
connection with this particular case,” as well as the subject matter
of any expected expert witness’ testimony. App. p. 82. Indiana Trial
Rule 26(E)(1) also requires parties to seasonably supplement discovery
responses with respect to the subject-matter and substance of an
expert witness’ expected testimony. Neither the trial court’s standing
discovery order nor Trial Rule 26(E)(1) was complied with here, as was
the case in Beauchamp. Obviously, however, in the event of retrial
there should be no surprise regarding Chapin’s testimony, and we need
not determine whether this violation of discovery rules independently
would have warranted reversal of Camm’s conviction.
The final issue we address in detail in our opinion
today is the trial court’s refusal to allow Camm to introduce a
photograph of Jill taken at the time of her autopsy showing the exit
wound in her head and the hair around it shaved and the accompanying
blood, apparently from her hair, that had transferred to a sheet lying
underneath her. Camm’s attorney wished to introduce the photograph in
connection with the examination of his blood spatter expert to
demonstrate possible ways in which Jill’s blood could have been
transferred to Camm’s t-shirt by contact.
The State successfully moved to exclude this
photograph from admission as irrelevant and misleading because it did
not depict Jill in the backseat of the Bronco where Camm claimed he
likely came into contact with Jill’s blood, and Camm’s attorney could
not guarantee that the blood visible in the photograph had not been
dislodged when she was removed from the Bronco, placed in a body bag,
transported to the medical examiner’s office, and removed from the
We begin by noting that in this case, unlike so
many others, it is the defendant, not the State, who was attempting to
introduce an autopsy photograph of the victim. Generally, photographs
depicting a victim’s injuries, including showing a victim’s wounds
from different angles, or demonstrating a witness’ testimony are
relevant and therefore admissible. Kubsch v. State, 784 N.E.2d 905,
923 (Ind. 2003). To be admissible, a photograph must also be a true
and accurate representation of what it is meant to portray. Martin v.
State, 784 N.E.2d 997, 1007 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003).
To the extent the State argues the photograph was
not a true and accurate representation of what it was intended to
portray because it does not portray Jill as she was found in the
backseat of the Bronco, there is no dispute in this case that the
photograph accurately depicted Jill at the time of her autopsy, which
is sufficient for the purpose for which Camm sought to introduce the
photograph. See id. Police apparently took no photographs in which
Jill’s exit wound as she lay in the Bronco is visible, thus Camm
sought to introduce this photograph for the purpose of demonstrating
another possible contact source of Jill’s blood that was not visible
in any other photograph; Camm did not seek introduction of the
photograph as an accurate portrayal of the crime scene. How Jill’s
blood came to rest on Camm’s t-shirt was the central issue in this
case; the photograph was relevant to that issue.
Additionally, this case is factually similar to
Martin, where a defendant claimed there was an inadequate foundation
for the admission of photographs of the victim of a battery that
resulted in the victim’s death because the doctor who identified the
victim and his injuries in the photographs had last seen the victim
alive several hours before the pictures were taken at a coroner’s
The defendant contended the State failed to lay an
adequate foundation for the photograph because it could not account
for what might have happened to the victim during the several hours
between when the doctor last saw the victim alive and when the
pictures were taken. We held that this argument went to the weight
that might be given the photographs, not their admissibility. Id. We
believe the same is true here with respect to the State’s claim that
Jill had been handled and transported from the Bronco to the medical
examiner’s office before the photograph was taken. If admitted, the
State would have been free to challenge the weight to be given the
photograph as it related to depicting a possible source for Jill’s
blood on Camm’s t-shirt.
We need not address any more issues in this case in
detail. However, we do trust that some of the claimed instances of
prosecutorial misconduct were unintentional and will not be repeated
in any retrial, such as (1) questioning the defense blood spatter
expert as to why his opinion conflicted with five other experts, when
only two experts had testified for the State; (2) asking Camm why he
did not think domestic violence was “a big deal” when there was no
evidence that Camm had ever battered Kim, Tr. p. 6750; and (3)
representing that a certain witness would be called later and could be
questioned directly by defense counsel, then failing in fact to call
that witness and protesting when defense counsel sought to do so.
Camm was unfairly prejudiced by the introduction of
extensive evidence and argument regarding his poor character, where
the evidence regarding his philandering was not reasonably related to
any proper purpose under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b), including proof
of motive. We reverse his three convictions for murder.
CRONE, J., and BAKER, J., concur.
Footnote: This is apart from cases addressing “heat
of passion” killings where the victim was engaged in adultery and the
spouse killed the victim upon discovering it.
Footnote: The Mississippi rule expressly allows
introduction of “bad acts” evidence as proof of “opportunity,” while
the Indiana rule does not.
Footnote: Camm allegedly told one of the women who
testified that Kim was a “bitch” on a few occasions between 1996 and
1998. Tr. p. 2873. This alone cannot be construed as a threat to harm
Footnote: Evidence Rule 608 clearly limits evidence
regarding a witness’ credibility to opinion or reputation evidence
only; specific instances of conduct such as were explored in this case
are generally inadmissible, and always inadmissible on direct
examination of a witness. Camm’s argument, however, focuses primarily
on Evidence Rule 404(b).
Footnote: It is not entirely clear that Camm’s
pretrial statements directly conflicted with the women’s testimony in
any event, or at least most of their testimony. In those statements,
Camm admits having been unfaithful to his wife in the past, with the
last relationship he termed an “affair” occurring six years before the
murder, which is when Camm and Kim were separated and he had moved out
of the house. State’s Ex. 20. He also said that his relationship with
his wife had been “wonderful,” especially in the last six months
before the murders. State’s Ex. 15. The most recent evidence of Camm
having any physical contact with another woman was six months before
Footnote: Some of the witnesses were relatives;
some were long-time friends; and some knew Camm only through playing
basketball with him.
We would also note that aside from the
prejudice to Camm, the admission of this evidence subjected the women
testifying, some of whom were married, to potentially humiliating
public disclosure of intimate details of their personal lives,
especially in light of the extensive mass media coverage of this trial.
Footnote: Camm also mentioned in one of his
statements to police, before being informed that there was evidence
Jill had been molested, that his children often got into bed with him
Footnote: Defense counsel was cross-examining one
of the State’s blood spatter experts about whether another expert had
changed his mind regarding some of the blood spatter evidence, when
the State objected and said “I think when Mr. Bevel [the uncalled
expert] gets here, Mr. Bevel can speak for himself.” Tr. p. 4956.
Defense counsel then agreed to limit his cross-examination “if
representation is he’s going to testify . . . .”
Id. The State did not verbally respond to