DAVID CAMM BLOG: Turning Point - WDRB 41 Louisville News

DAVID CAMM BLOG: Turning Point

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Sept. 5, 2013

Court was gaveled into session at 9:19 a.m. Thursday morning and the judge and attorneys took up a couple of issues before the jury was brought into the courtroom. Among them: Charles Boney, who is expected to testify for the prosecution sometime in the coming weeks.

Boney was convicted of the Camm family murders in 2006, and is Camm's alleged accomplice. Special Prosecutor Stan Levco, and defense attorney Richard Kammen have both refused to comment on when Boney might testify.

Thursday morning, both sides had a preliminary discussion about how Boney's criminal history might come into play during his eventual testimony.

Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer argued that information about Boney's prior convictions should be limited, and that the defense should not be allowed to get into details of the unrelated crimes. He admitted these limits were an attempt by his side to "take the sting out" of Boney's convictions, but he said there was another reason as well.

"The greatest potential for a mistrial is when Charles Boney takes the stand," Meyer cautioned.

Defense attorney Richard Kammen was not about to give in to Meyer's demands to quash details of Boney's past.

"I think they are attempting to limit the cross examination," he said. "We don't agree that we are required to accept their characterization – which would be a benign characterization" of Boney's convictions.

Kammen admitted that he didn't know when Boney would testify, but noted that the prosecution is "cleverly ordering its witnesses."

For now, Judge Jonathan Dartt said he would look into the matter and have a ruling when it became appropriate.

The jury was then ushered into the courtroom.


Partial Transcript – Part I
Video: Oct. 1, 2000 Interrogation of David Camm

Also Present: Det. Robert M. Neal and Det. Darrel Gibson

Indiana State Police Detective Robert M. Neal was still on the stand Thursday morning, when Meyer began playing a video recording of an interview Neal and Det. Darrel Gibson had with David Camm on Oct. 1, 2000, the Sunday after the murders.

Neal would testify that the interview quickly turned into an interrogation – and ended with Camm's arrest.

Below is a partial transcript of that interrogation:

"I appreciate you coming down here," one of the detectives said to Camm. "It makes things a lot easier for us."

One of the detectives then read Camm his Miranda rights, telling him they are doing this for everybody they talk to. Camm indicates that he has no problems with this.

"You realize, Dave, this door is shut for our privacy," one of the detectives says. "It's unlocked."

Camm indicates that this is fine.

The detectives then ask him to – again – recall his experience when he found his family dead.

"As I pulled up…somebody was down in the garage, and it didn't look good," Camm said. He then recalled seeing the body of his wife, Kim.

"I thought it was Jill because of the way Kim's pants had been messed with," he said.

When he realized it was Kim, he said, "I knew she was gone…I knew she was dead."

"I said, ‘Oh my God, where are the kids? Where are the kids?'" Camm added.

He said he first thought Kim had slipped and hit her head, and that maybe the children might be around somewhere. But then he said he looked in the Bronco and discovered them – shot to death – inside. He said they were, "scrunched over…out of the way…it took me a second to figure it out."

"I saw little Brad," he said. "And it looked like he was trying to get over in the back."

He said he pulled Brad out of the vehicle, ran into his home and called the police, then attempted to perform CPR on Brad's body.

"I pinched his nose off and gave him a couple of breaths," Camm said, adding that he performed five or six compressions.

"He was warm," Camm said. "If he was warm, I probably had a chance."

He said he then ran across the street to his grandfather's house. His uncle, Nelson Lockhart, had been staying with his grandfather, and quickly came over to the crime scene, telling Camm not to allow anything to be disturbed.

The detectives questioned Camm about the state of the garage door and lights.

"It was pretty bright in there," Camm said. "My headlights were on too."

"I was in a hurry," he said later. "I was really in a hurry because I knew something wasn't right."

They asked him what he had been wearing that night, and Camm indicated that he had on blue shorts and a state police t-shirt.

The detectives asked if he had been wearing a sweatshirt or a jacket as well. Camm said no.

"You're sure of that?" one of the detectives asked.

Camm said that he was sure.

The interview then returned to the state of the bodies.

Regarding his wife Kim, Camm said: "As far as this crime scene stuff with her…I didn't touch anything…I didn't give her a kiss…I went into this mode."

He said he wished he had raised the head of his 5-year-old daughter Jill, whose lifeless body was slumped over her seatbelt.

"It really breaks my heart that I didn't do that," he said. "I didn't do a whole lot for her or with her."

He added that maybe God stopped him from raising her head so he wouldn't have to see her bloody injuries.

While in the home, he said he didn't notice anything missing. He said he saw his prescriptions, TV and paycheck all still inside.

"I was thinking to myself…what's happening?" Camm said. "Why is this?"

He told the detectives he didn't own a handgun and didn't want to spend the money on one, since he had left the Indiana State Police.

"I just didn't feel like I needed one anymore," he said. "I totally separated myself from that."

He said life had improved since he'd left the department four months earlier and started working for United Dynamics, the company owned by his uncle, Sam Lockhart.

"Sam takes very good care of me," he said. "They pay me well."

"That life was good," Camm said, noting that he finally had weekends off. "It was sweet."

The detectives then began to question Camm about his family life. He said his wife Kim would have taken care of feeding the kids that night, either taking them to someplace like McDonald's, or feeding them homemade lasagna, while Brad worked on his spelling homework and Bible memorization.

"She did all the laundry," Camm said. "It wouldn't be unusual for her to stay up ‘till 11:00 or 11:30 washing clothes."

"She did everything," he added. "That was her routine."

The detectives then began asking about their sleeping arrangements, and when the kids would sleep with their parents.

At this point, Detective Neal slipped out of the room, leaving Camm alone with Detective Gibson.

Then came the turning point:

Camm said that he was feeling "pretty weird" about being there. When Gibson asked why, he replied that there has "got to be a reason" why they were asking about the children's sleeping arrangements.

Finally he blurted out: "This is amazing. This is dumbfounding."


Unexpected Recess

At this point in the replaying of the video, defense attorney Stacey Uliana quickly rose and asked if the videotape could be stopped, and if the judge could grant a brief recess. Judge Dartt agreed and the jury was quickly ushered out of the courtroom.

When the jury was gone, Uliana complained that the transcript the jurors and attorneys had been given had ended, and the material that had been playing in the last few moments of the video was not supposed to be seen by the jury.

"We are in the middle of exactly where we didn't want to be," defense attorney Richard Kammen said, noting that astute jurors may not be able to help asking questions about what they had just heard.

(NOTE: In the past, two trials, allegations were made that Camm may have molested his 5-year-old daughter Jill sometime prior to the murders. Kentucky State Medical Examiner Tracey Corey testified in the second trial that she found injuries consistent with molestation on Jill's body, and the injuries could have been sustained within 48 hours of her death. She also admitted, however, that the injuries could have been consistent with a playground accident. Camm was never charged with the molestation, and no molestation evidence is being allowed into his third trial.)

The attorneys agreed to review the video behind closed doors to see if there was additional information that should be redacted.

A short time later they returned. The jury was brought back in, and the video was restarted from the same point – but only after repeated assurances to Judge Dartt that everything was in order.

"Even if we have to do a double-take, that's fine with the court," he said, just before the jury came in. "Let's get it right."


Partial Transcript – Part II
Video: Oct. 1, 2000 Interrogation of David Camm

Also Present: Det. Robert M. Neal and Det. Darrel Gibson

The video resumed. Below is a partial transcript of the interrogation from that point on:

"You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves," Camm said.

"Dave, we're only trying to do the best job we can," Gibson said.

"You're wrong," Camm said. "You're wrong, Darrel…you all are looking at me for this and you're wrong!"

"Dave, we've looked at everyone," Gibson replied.

Later he added: "We've got some problems with some things the way they are."

"I do not believe this," Camm replied, adding that, "you are going to try to blame me" for the deaths of his wife and kids.

Moments later, Camm said that the detectives could choose to believe him or not.

"I leave this choice to you," he said. "I did not do this. I did not do this, Darrel."

"There's high-velocity blood spatter on your shirt," a detective said.

Camm offered that it might have appeared there after he brushed up against one of the bodies.

"This is not transfer," a detective replied.

Moments later, a detective asked, "What about your sweatshirt?"

"I didn't have a sweatshirt on!" Camm replied.

(The detective was apparently referencing the grey sweatshirt found at the scene – the sweatshirt that, five years later, would be traced to Charles Boney.)

One of the detectives then told Camm that the men he played basketball with on the night of the murders had claimed that Camm had been wearing a grey sweatshirt. (Neal would later admit on the stand that this was an intentional lie that was told so investigators could judge his reaction.)

"That's not right," Camm said. "That's not right. That's not right, guys…you're getting off-track. Now fix it!"

"We know you were in the laundry room," one of the detectives offered. "You were in the laundry room for a reason." They theorized that Camm might have used a mop and bleach to clean up the crime scene.

"This is ridiculous," Camm said.

"Let us finish Dave," a detective said.

"NO!" Camm shouted. "NO! NO! NO!" He slammed his hand on the table several times.

"NO!" he said again. "I didn't clean up s—t! I didn't clean up s—t, guys!" He added later that, "Somebody may have, but it wasn't me. That person is your suspect. I am not that person and I am not your suspect!"

One of the detectives then asked Camm about a damp green jacket that was found on top of a box at the scene.

"I know that there was a lot of blood on that jacket," the detective said. "A lot of blood on that jacket."

Camm again denied cleaning anything up, saying, "I left the scene as intact as I possibly could…I didn't wipe anything up. I didn't touch anything."

"I didn't do it!" Camm said, appealing to Neal. "Mickey, I swear to you my brother, I didn't do it!"

They questioned him about his timeline for leaving the gym, pointing out their theory that there was a nine-minute window after Camm arrived home from the gym when he could have killed his family.

"I didn't do this!" Camm said.

"I'm trying to explain these facts away," one of the detectives said. "I'm giving you the facts."

They again confronted Camm with the alleged high-velocity impact spatter on his shirt.

"I'm telling you, you're blood people are wrong," Camm said.

Finally, Camm began to shout:

"NEAL, I DIDN'T DO IT!" he said. "DOGGONE IT, THIS IS MY FAMILY!"

"Who did it?" one of the detectives asked.

"I don't know!" Camm said. "That's why I called you guys!"

"I didn't do it," Camm added. "My life had never been so good at home, at work, with the kids, everything!"

"We didn't fight," he said of his wife. "I worshipped those children. I worshipped the ground they walked on."

He added that, "I'm not a rape-master, liar!"

The detectives again turned Camm's attention to the alleged blood evidence found on his t-shirt.

"It's scientific documentation that the only way this comes on is blowback – or blowout – from a gunshot wound," one of the detectives said.

The detective then brought up Rob Stites, the protégé of blood expert Rod Englert, who discovered the evidence that weekend.

"He's renowned as far as his expertise," the detective said. "This is not something he just started to do yesterday."

"What they told us was there's only one way you could have that," a detective later said of the blood evidence. "You had to be present when one of them was shot."

"Dave, when we started this, no one would have believed you did this," one of the detectives said. "The Dave Camm I know wouldn't do this."

The detective added that he still considered Camm a friend.

"Is there any way things could have gotten out of control?" Camm was asked.

"No. No. No." he replied.

"Darrel, the bottom line is, I did not do this." Camm said. "Things were good…I didn't lose control."

About the mysterious gray sweatshirt – the one that would be tied to Charles Boney five years later – Camm said, "You guys will solve that mystery. I know you will. I've got faith in you."

"There's somebody out here who has done this," Camm added.

He then appealed to the detective's feelings.

"Do you have a gut?" he asked. "A heart? A gut feeling?"

"Sure," the detective replied.

"Well, you need to check it and you need to listen to it," Camm said.

Moments later, Camm added: "Right now, my wife and my kids are looking down from heaven, and they're going, ‘Oh my gosh, I can't believe this.'"

Shortly after this, the video jerked. Something had been redacted.

"You will be putting an innocent person in jail for the murder of his wife and children," Camm told the detectives. "You go home and sleep on that!"

"What's going to happen is you guys are going to get so focused on me that whoever really did it is gonna walk away," he added.

A few minutes later, Camm asked, "You guys taking me to jail?"

"No," a detective replied. "We're just checking on something for you, that's all."

The video ended – and court recessed for lunch.

 

Partial Transcript
Video of CPR demonstration given by David Camm
Oct. 1, 2000

After the jury returned from lunch, they were shown a brief video of a demonstration David Camm gave of the CPR he administered to his son, Bradley, after his body was discovered. Camm gave the demonstration shortly after his interrogation, in the presence of detectives. The demonstration was performed on a mannequin.

In the video, Camm could be seen leaning over the dummy.

"I gave a couple of breaths into his mouth and it just came out his nose," Camm said.

He showed how he administered the breaths, and demonstrated the chest compressions he gave Bradley.

Moments later, Camm compared the murder accusations he faced to the persecution of Jesus Christ.

"Jesus came to save us," he said. "That's why he was here." He then added that Christ was killed because no one would listen to his message, and no one was listening to his – David Camm's – message either.

Then Camm began sobbing.

"I didn't do it Mickey," he cried. "I didn't do it."

"It doesn't make any sense," he continued, sobbing. "You can't explain it, because I wasn't there. I wasn't there. I did exactly what I told you I did."

"Our children were perfect little angels," he added. "My children could not have been any more perfect."

Of Kim he said: "She took care of my babies. She gave me two beautiful kids."

The video ended moments later.


WITNESS: Robert M. Neal (cont'd)
Indiana State Police Trooper

Shortly after the videos ended, defense attorney Stacy Uliana rose to cross-examine Detective Robert M. Neal, who had been present in the videos 13 years earlier, and was now present in the courtroom in Sept. 2013.

Uliana asked Neal if he would agree that the detectives were relying in large part on the opinion of Robert Stites – Rod Englert's protégé – when they arrested David Camm? (It was initially Stites who said he found blood stains on Camm's shirt that were high-velocity impact spatter.)

"Yes, that's correct," Neal said.

Uliana asked if he believed at the time that Stites was "renowned and competent."

"For the most part, yes," Neal said.

Uliana pointed out that Stites has been brought in by then-Floyd County Prosecutor Stan Faith.

"You were told he [Stites] was fairly revered in the science?" she asked.

Neal agreed.

"And some of this you were told directly by Mr. Faith?" she asked.

"Yes, that's correct," Neal said.

Neal testified that, during those interviews 13 years ago, he knew there was a "high probability" that Camm was about to be arrested. He said he took part in the interrogation in order to convince himself they had the right suspect.

"I was trying to satisfy something inwardly," he said.

At one point, he told Uliana, he walked out of the interview.

"And what you did is you went and talked with Mr. Stites," Uliana said.

Neal said he contacted Stites at some point and asked how sure he was that there were high-velocity impact stains on Camm's shirt. Neal said that Stites told him he was 90-something percent sure, then walked out of the room – presumably to call his boss, Rod Englert, to get a second opinion – then returned to say he now had two opinions.

"He indicated that he had conferred, and that he was 100 percent sure that this was blood spatter," Neal said.

Uliana asked if Neal felt okay arresting Camm after that.

"Well, for the most part, yes," he replied.

"And no one ever told you…that Stites had never been to a homicide scene as an expert?" Uliana asked.

Neal replied that he was not aware of this.

Uliana also claimed that Stites had never taken a blood spatter course, had never testified as an expert in a trial and had only been sent to photograph evidence – not make conclusions.

Later, Uliana asked if – in 34 years of service -- Neal ever had to apologize for making a wrongful arrest.

"I don't recall any investigations I've done where I've had to drop the charges against somebody," he said, adding later that some of the suspects he arrested were later acquitted.

As her cross examination went on, Uliana pointed out several lies that the detectives told Camm during the investigation. Neal admitted that it was a lie that the basketball players claimed Camm was wearing the grey sweatshirt. He admitted that it was a lie that witnesses saw Camm standing on the deck of his home the night of the murders. He also admitted that they lied when they claimed they had evidence that Camm had been in the laundry room, or that a neighbor had seen him throw something off of his deck.

Neal said these lies were part of an interrogation technique used to gauge the suspect's responses.

Moments later, Special Prosecutor Stan Levco rose to question Neal.

He asked Neal if he felt something was amiss with Camm's responses in his first interview with Camm on Sept. 28 – the night of the murders.

"Me personally, yes, as far as my comfort level," Neal said. "I was concerned at first because of his lack of emotion…he was subdued, but he always knew what was going on."

"I didn't see any breakdown," Neal added. "I thought that was odd initially."

Neal said he was also disturbed about the second interview – the one on Oct. 1 – in which Camm told him he never touched his wife, Kim, when he found her body.

"He admitted that he didn't even touch her, grab her, shake her," he said, adding that a police officer would have checked her vitals and tried to feel for a pulse.

"If that's my wife right there, I'm gonna grab her," he said. "I'm gonna touch her in some fashion."

"He didn't check his daughter," Neal added. "He didn't check her vitals. He didn't check her pulse."

Upon cross examination, Neal would later admit that Camm could have been crying hours before the interview, and could have been exhausted.


Witness: Dean Marks

Blood Spatter Expert

Indiana State Police

Late Thursday afternoon, the jury heard testimony from Dean Marks, a blood spatter expert and 32-year veteran of the Indiana State Police.

"Well during violent crimes, there's often bloodshed," Marks began. He added that "a wealth of information" can be gained by studying the patterns of blood stains, noting specifically the dispersal of the blood stains, as well as their size and shape.

Marks said he has attended several classes on blood stain pattern analysis, and even teaches some himself.

He said his experience in examining blood has amassed after visiting "hundreds and hundreds of bloody crime scenes."

"Each one helps to build my library, so to speak," he said.

He said that on Oct. 19, 2001, he was contacted by then-Floyd County Prosecutor Stan Faith and asked to render an official opinion of microscopic blood stains found on David Camm's t-shirt. Faith sent him 149 photographs of the stains, and he eventually looked at cuttings of the stains themselves. The stains came from one particular area of the shirt.

"Do you know what that area is called?" Special Prosecutor Stan Levco asked.

"I've always known it to be Area 30," Marks replied.

Marks testified that the smaller a blood stain is, the greater the pressure that was applied to create that stain.

"The more energy that's applied, the smaller the resulting stain," he said. He added that stains caused by blowout from a gunshot wound are generally smaller than a millimeter, won't travel more than 3-4 feet, are fainter than other stains and generally – when applied to clothing like a t-shirt – will be pressed into the weave of the shirt.

Marks said he found a handful of stains on Camm's t-shirt that were less than a millimeter in size.

"That tells me there's a tremendous amount of energy here to create these stains this small," he said.

He added that they were down in the weave of the shirt, "which indicates to me that they were projected or driven into the weave."

His final conclusion – after eliminating alternatives – was that they were high velocity impact spatter, or blowout from a gunshot wound.

Court adjourned for the day a short time later.

Travis K. Kircher is a Web Producer for WDRB News. He can be reached at tkircher@wdrb.com.

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