DAVID CAMM BLOG: The witness list...
Aug. 16, 2013
LEBANON, Ind. (WBKI) – The week of Aug. 12, 2013 ended without a jury.
After over 100 men and women were interviewed, questioned and inconvenienced, only 11 were picked to serve on the third David Camm triple murder trial. That's a far cry from the 19 (12 jurors and seven alternates) needed for the case.
Contrast that with the second trial in 2006, when the full jury (12 jurors and three alternates) were picked by the end of the week. As defense attorney Stacy Uliana told us, it's going to take a lot longer to get an untainted jury this time.
Nevertheless, we're told they expect to have a full jury by the end of the day Tuesday (the 20th), take a break on Wednesday (the 21st) and return to court on Thursday (the 22nd) for opening statements.
There are a few things to come out of court on Friday, which I'll discuss below.
The Witness List
Judge Jonathan Dartt read the witness list Friday morning in an effort to determine if any of the prospective jurors knew or were related to any of the witnesses. There were some interesting names on that list.
Charles Boney: Granted, he's a given. As the accused accomplice and co-conspirator with David Camm, Charles Boney is currently serving time for the same murders. But this will be the first time Boney will be testifying in Camm's trial. One imagines that both the prosecution and the defense will have a lot of questions for Boney, and we can probably expect to see him on the witness stand for a long time. It will also be interesting to see Camm and Boney in the same courtroom.
Mala Singh Mattingly: Charles Boney's girlfriend at the time of the murders, who is originally from Trinidad. She testified in 2006 that on the night Kim, Brad and Jill were killed, Boney left his house, telling her that he had to go "help a buddy."
Rod Englert and Bart Epstein: The main blood stain analysts for the prosecution and the defense, respectively, who are returning from the previous trial. In 2006, Englert testified that microscopic blood stains found on David Camm's t-shirt on the night of the murders were the result of "high-velocity impact spatter" from a gunshot inflicted on Jill Camm – and that David Camm had to have been within four feet of his daughter when she was murdered. Epstein testified that the same microscopic dots were merely the result of "contact stains" David Camm received when he leaned over his daughter's bloody hair after their bodies were discovered.
Sam Lockhart and the basketball players: Sam Lockhart, David Camm's uncle, has been Camm's Number One supporter since the first trial. He's organized online mailing lists and done numerous television interviews proclaiming his nephew's innocence. In the last trial, Lockhart and 10 other men testified that they were at the Georgetown Community Church gym playing basketball with David Camm throughout the time the murders took place.
Prior prosecution teams: These are the most surprising names of all that I saw on the witness list. The defense is calling former Floyd County Prosecutor Stan Faith (the prosecutor in the first trial), as well as current Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steve Owen (prosecutors in the second trial). Katherine Liell, David Camm's chief defense attorney in the second trial, is also being called by the defense. In the past, Camm's defense has claimed that the charges against their client resulted from a botched police investigation and overzealous prosecutors. These witnesses are likely being called in an attempt to make that case.
There are a lot of familiar names on the list that I can recall from the last trial, including police investigators, blood stain analysts, detectives, friends of Kim Camm, as well as members of both families, including Frank and Janice Renn (Kim's parents), and folks from Camm's side of the family, including Jeff and Nelson Lockhart.
Over 100 witnesses are expected to be called in the six-10 week trial. The case will probably be wrapping up just before Thanksgiving.
The questioning of prospective jurors was a little different on Friday. Throughout the week, jurors had been brought into the courtroom to be interviewed individually, then either dismissed or told that they would be moving on, having made it through the "first round" of proceedings (making it sound a little like they're contestants on "American Idol").
On Friday, all of the jurors who made it through the "first round" were brought into the Boone County Circuit Court. (I counted 47, but there may have been a few more or less.)
Throughout the day, these "second-rounders" were questioned by the prosecution and defense team in groups of 12, while the other prospective jurors looked on.
Special Prosecutor Stan Levco emphasized the meaning of the legal standard "beyond a reasonable doubt" – the standard which must be met before a juror can convict a person.
"Do you think it's possible to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, but not convinced beyond any doubt?" Levco asked, questioning what the jurors would do in that situation.
At one point, defense attorney Richard Kammen objected, calling this a "trick question," but the judge overruled the objection.
"You wouldn't make me prove it beyond what the law requires, would you?" Levco asked the prospective jurors. "Do you think other than being there, there's any way I could prove it 100 percent?"
As the lead defense attorney, Kammen emphasized that the standard is not "to" a reasonable doubt. It's "beyond a reasonable doubt." He added that jurors who felt that a defendant was "probably guilty" or "might be guilty" had not met the standard.
The standard means, "not just tipping the scales," Kammen said. "It's tipping them all the way."
Later, he would add that the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard was created, in part, to protect jurors themselves, "so that you don't spend the rest of your life worrying, ‘Did I do the right thing?'"
"At the end of the day, you've got to be satisfied in your heart and your soul and your mind," Kammen said.
At one point, Kammen asked a prospective juror permission to take their glasses. After doing so, he asked the juror to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who did or didn't do it.
Later, at a point when the prospective jurors had been taken out of the courtroom, Levco blasted this behavior, saying it was demeaning to the jurors and asked the judge to stop allowing Kammen to take the glasses.
"I almost want you to do it because I think it is offensive," Levco said.
"I did ask permission," Kammen said.
The judge asked Kammen to refrain from doing it in the future, adding that, "I also see that you have glasses that you are wearing."
Throughout this period, the defendant, David Camm, took a hands-on approach to jury selection. This eyeglasses were out once again, and I could see him flipping through papers and marking things down, conversing quietly with his attorneys.
At one point, Stacy Uliana, another of David Camm's defense team, addressed the fact that jurors in this case would be forced to look at some gruesome images – including images of deceased children.
"I want to ask each and every one of you if you're up for the task," she said, adding that 2-3 weeks into the case, "it's too late."
She added that the defense was coming to them with a "heavy heart."
"We're claiming David didn't do it," she said. "And they're claiming that he did."
After each individual prospective juror in the jury box was asked if they could take it, one juror – a male – said that he could handle the case because he liked puzzles.
"And you've got a hard one," Uliana said. "This is a hard one."
Throughout the day, some prospective jurors admitted that they wouldn't be able to handle the violent images. One man said he actually passed out at the scene of a wreck.
"I hope you weren't driving," Kammen said, to much laughter.
Here are some additional questions asked by the prosecution and the defense, in no particular order:
Do you have difficult sitting in judgment of another person?
Do you have a problem with the fact that expert witnesses are paid a lot of money?
If you had a choice – and you do NOT – would you prefer to serve or not?
Does it feel strange for me to call you by a number?
Do you think that once you've arrived at an opinion, that's going to be it, or will you listen to the other jurors?
The state is not required to prove the motive behind any charge. How do you feel about that?
What if one side has four expert witnesses and the other side has two?
How many of you think that random violence really happens?
What is someone in prison who got a deal is testifying? Are they lying? What if they didn't get a deal?
Can you appreciate that the absence of motive could be a reasonable doubt?
What kind of evidence would you want to prove that two guys know each other?
Court was in session long after the courthouse closed at 4 p.m. on Friday. As mentioned earlier, we now have 11 jurors – 11 of the 19 we will need to start the trial. Jury selection resumes on Monday.
Travis K. Kircher is a Web Producer for WDRB. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.