DAVID CAMM BLOG: Tattoo Dilemma - WDRB 41 Louisville News

DAVID CAMM BLOG: Tattoo Dilemma

Posted: Updated:

Sept. 19, 2013

LEBANON, Ind. (WDRB) -- Storms ripped through Lebanon overnight. To use a tired cliche, its bark was worse than its bite -- for despite lightning and claps of thunder, it left no apparent damage.

But in Boone County Circuit Court, another storm was brewing. This one was over David Camm's tattoo -- the one on his right arm -- and whether he should be ordered to show it to the jury. Prosecutor Stan Levco was very much in favor of it.

Defense attorney Richard Kammen was against the idea, calling it "overkill." He noted that the defense team had photos of the tattoo. Why not simply show those to the jury?

"We would not object to those photographs coming in," he said.

The attorneys agreed to table the discussion for later in the day.

Meanwhile, Judge Jonathan Dartt told Kammen that he would NOT grant the defense's motion for a mistrial -- the one they made earlier this week after they said the state withheld a 5-10 page handwritten letter created by Mala Singh Mattingly in 2005.

"A mistrial is an extreme remedy," Judge Dartt said.

However, the defense team could recall Mattingly, Dartt said, and ask her about something she mentioned in the letter: a photograph Charles Boney allegedly showed her of a woman named "Kimberly."

The windows of the courtroom lit up with lighting. There was a loud clap of thunder -- and Dartt wondered aloud which of his rulings the thunder was in response to.

Laughter in the court.

A moment later, the jury was called in to hear the first witness of the day.


Witness: Charlie Scarber
Special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Former Indiana State Police Detective

Charlie Scarber provided the briefest testimony of the day. A stocky man with a buzz cut and a deep voice, Scarber explained that when the Camm family was murdered, he was working as a detective for the Indiana State Police Sellers burg post. Scarber told the jury it was his job to reconcile what appeared to be an inexplicable problem with investigators' timeline of what happened on Sept. 28, 2000 -- the night of the murders.

The Sonitrol alarm system at the Georgetown Community Church gym indicated that the gym had been locked up at 9:22 p.m. But the Indiana State Police call center indicated that David Camm called to report the discovery of the bodies of his wife and children at 9:29 p.m., only minutes later.

As part of the investigation, Scarber said he made some phone calls to clear the matter up.

"Did you call Sonitrol on Oct. 4?" the prosecution team asked.

"Yes I did," Scarber replied.

Scarber testified that he talked to a representative of Sonitrol by phone and asked her to tell him what time their clocks read. She told him that, at the time of his call, the Sonitrol clock indicated that it was 12:37 p.m.

Scarber said the Indiana State Police clock read 12:35 p.m.

Defense attorney Richard Kammen said he had no questions for Scarber.


Witness: Gary Gilbert
Investigator for the Indiana Gaming Commission
Former Indiana State Police Detective
Lead Investigator of the David Camm case during Camm's second trial

Moments later, Gary Gilbert rose to take the stand.

A skinny man with sandy-colored hair, glasses and a mustache, Gilbert explained that on Sept. 3, 2004, he was appointed by Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson as the lead investigator in the case of the State of Indiana vs. David Camm.

It was a role that Gilbert said involved poring over 30 boxes of evidence.

On Jan. 14, 2005, he said he made an important discovery while looking through those boxes. Gilbert said he found a report from a company called Cellmark. That report contained information about a DNA profile -- a DNA profile he said would eventually lead to Charles Boney.

Gilbert said he contacted the Indiana State Police, who knew nothing about the report.

"I made a call to Cellmark," he said. "I told them what I had."

Gilbert testified that the Cellmark representative called him back the next day and told him the report was generated at the request of Mike McDaniel, David Camm's defense attorney in his first trial. If Gilbert wanted to find out whose DNA profile the report pointed to, he would have to call McDaniel and get permission to view the profile.

Gilbert said he left a message with McDaniel, but after 20 days of waiting with no response, he took the report to the Indiana State Police crime lab.

On Feb. 14, 2005, Gilbert said he was contacted by Lynn Scamahorm of the ISP crime lab. According to Gilbert, she told him she had run the profile through the FBI Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and got a hit. The DNA profile matched with that of a man named Charles Boney.

Special Prosecutor Stan Levco then asked Gilbert about the fact that a Lorcin .380 had been used in the murders, and whether he'd been cautious about releasing that information to the public at large.

He asked if there were "certain facts the police do not release to the public."

"Yes sir," Gilbert replied.

Levco asked what it meant if someone spontaneously volunteered those facts.

"That tells you they have some inside knowledge of that particular crime," Gilbert said.

Levco asked whether the fact that a Lorcin .380 had been used by the murderer had been released to the public.

Gilbert replied that he was "not aware of that information being released" by previous prosecutors.

That's why, Gilbert said, it was surprising when Jeremy Bullock, an inmate who was in prison with David Camm, contacted him to tell him that Camm had confessed to the crime. Gilbert said Bullock claimed Camm had used a hammerless .380 handgun to commit the murders. At the time, Gilbert said he didn't know Lorcin made hammerless .380 handguns. They do.

Upon cross examination, defense attorney Richard Kammen pointed out that the type of gun used in the murders had already been released to the public via the media.

"You don't know to what extent the fact of the Lorcin was published in the first trial, do you?" he asked.

Gilbert admitted that he did not.

Kammen also questioned Gilbert's claim to discovering the Charles Boney DNA. He pointed to a hearing in Jan. 2005, when he said defense attorney Stacy Uliana and co-counsel Katharine Liell (Camm's attorney in his second trial) "were begging" the court to have the unknown male DNA profile tested.

"That very well could have been," Gilbert said at one point.

Kammen went on to examine the relationship between Gilbert and Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson, pointing out that it was Henderson who handpicked Gilbert to be the lead detective on the case.

"That was unusual -- that a prosecutor would say, 'I want this detective on the case,'" Kammen said.

"No sir," Gilbert replied.

"You knew Mr. Henderson before this, didn't you?" Kammen asked a few moments later.

"Yes," Gilbert replied.

"You regarded him as a friend?" Kammen asked.


Kammen took Gilbert back to 2004, when he said Henderson called a press conference shortly after the verdict in Camm's first trial was reversed, in order to say that he was going to have "fresh eyes" look at the case.

Kammen said that as a result, Gilbert had "boxes and boxes and boxes of info" to look through.

"Yes," Gilbert replied, later admitting that he hadn't read everything in the boxes.

Kammen then addressed Gilbert's interview with Jeremy Bullock, the aforementioned inmate who testified that Camm confessed to the murders while in prison. Kammen asked Gilbert whether he'd had any "special training" in interviewing jailhouse informants.

"No special training, other than just interviewing somebody," Gilbert replied.

The testimony then turned to the subject of Rob Stites, the assistant to blood spatter expert Rod Englert. Kammen explained that Stites was brought into the case within 30 hours of the murders. Had Gilbert ever seen a prosecutor bring in an outside expert so quickly?

"I had never seen that, no," Gilbert said.

Kammen then asked Gilbert about the grey sweatshirt found at the murder scene -- the one with the nickname "Backbone" written in the collar. Gilbert testified that Sean Clemmons, the lead investigator on the case during the first trial, told him that Bradley Camm had gone by the nickname "Backbone."

Gilbert said a family member later explained that Bradley had never gone by this nickname.

On Feb. 17, 2005, after his DNA profile had been discovered, Charles Boney was brought in for questioning, according to Gilbert. Gilbert said Boney was questioned by himself, as well as Wayne Kessinger, an investigator who worked for Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson.

Gilbert agreed that Boney appeared "emotionless" during the interview, during which he told investigators that he'd dropped his grey sweatshirt in a Goodwill dropbox and couldn't explain how the article of clothing had appeared at the crime scene. Boney was not charged at the time of the interview, and he was allowed to leave, Gilbert said, but he was told to call the prosecutor's office every day from that point on.

Kammen asked if it was "fair to say that both of you regarded Mr. Boney as a suspect."

"Yes," Gilbert replied.

Gilbert said Kessinger took the daily phone calls from Boney.

"You never received any reports from Mr. Kessinger memorializing the contacts he had with Mr. Boney, did you?" Kammen asked.

"No," Gilbert replied.

Was that significant?

"Well, it depends on what they were talking about, sir," Gilbert replied.

Gilbert testified that he had been told by Kessinger that a GPS device had been hidden on Boney's vehicle.

"I think mainly the reason was to make sure he didn't leave the area," Gilbert said.

Gilbert admitted he never saw any reports from the GPS device.

He added that a camera was placed at the gravesite of Kim, Brad and Jill Camm -- and that Charles Boney eventually appeared at the site.

"The camera didn't seem to work the day he visited the graves," Gilbert said.

By March 4, 2005, Gilbert testified that Charles Boney's palmprint had been matched to a print discovered on Kim Camm's Ford Bronco, and Boney was brought in for questioning again. Gilbert said he told investigators David Camm was the shooter -- and then he asked for a lawyer.

"Then he wanted to write out something, is that correct?" Kammen asked.

Gilbert said that it was -- and Boney eventually presented them with a handwritten account of what happened on the night of the murders.

Kammen then walked Gilbert through the events of March 7, 2005, when he said Boney had a private meeting with ISP detective Myron Wilkerson -- a distant relative of Boney's. Gilbert said the two of them had a private conversation, but later they spoke in a room with a microphone that Gilbert could hear.

Kammen and Gilbert then listened to clips of that conversation between Boney and Wilkerson, reading through the transcript in front of the jury.

At one point, Gilbert testified, he heard Wilkerson tell Boney, "I told you off the record, but now I'll tell you on the record, you're going to have a hell of a time getting around what's already there."

Wilkerson, according to Gilbert's testimony, later told Boney that the best decision was to "be a witness." Wilkerson then went on to point out that Boney could get the death penalty and that "my motive is to keep you alive."

Kammen then turned to Gilbert.

"Then he asks, 'Did you see David Camm shoot anybody?'" Kammen asked. "Right?"

"Yes," Gilbert said.

Gilbert testified that he heard Wilkerson tell Boney, "Don't let your mother go to her grave with you on death row."

Later in the testimony, Kammen would ask Gilbert about another incident involving Wilkerson. Gilbert said that in the Spring of 2005, the defense team asked to examine Kim Camm's phone. He said they wanted to send it to the Indiana State Police crime lab to have it checked for fingerprints. But when investigators went to retrieve it, they found that it was not in the evidence room. Gilbert said he later learned that Myron Wilkerson had taken the phone from the evidence room -- without signing it out -- and had kept it for approximately two months.

"He wasn't part of your investigative team, right?" Kammen asked.

Gilbert replied that he was not.

He added that no fingerprints were on the phone when it was returned.

Tattoo Revisited

Shortly after lunch, the attorneys in the David Camm case revisited the idea of having Camm show the jury his tattoo.

Defense attorney Richard Kammen pointed out that Camm has two tattoos and they have color photographs of both. He said the defense team preferred that option and that there was room for "middle ground."

Levco said he only wanted to show the jury Camm's tattoo on his right arm -- and he didn't want to show them a photograph. He wanted them to see the real thing.

"We tried to come to an agreement and we didn't," he told Judge Dartt. "We are clearly entitled to have him show his tattoo to the jury."

"There's an easy way to do this without unnecessary embarrassment," Kammen said. "They have the photograph."

"I don't understand why we have to humiliate Mr. Camm," he added a moment later.

Judge Dartt said he was inclined to side with Levco.

"Obviously if the court allows it, it's going to be done respectfully," he said.

The defense team then sent out a representative to purchase a t-shirt that Camm could wear during the exhibition.


Witnesses: Indiana State Police DNA Analysts
Robert Dilley and Melissa Meyers

I'll briefly summarize the testimony of the two Indiana State Police DNA analysts the jury heard testimony from late in the day.

Robert Dilley testified that in June 2013, he examined four cuttings of blood stains from Area 30 of the grey t-shirt David Camm was wearing on the night of the murders. He described these as "the only samples left." He said he "cut them out with a scalpel," combined them and checked for DNA profiles.

He said he got the combined DNA profiles of Jill Camm and David Camm.

Defense attorney Stacy Uliana pointed out that the reason the profiles were mixed was because Dilley had combined the stains before conducting the test.

Melissa Meyers testified that she conducted a Y-STR DNA analysis on various fingernail swabs and clippings from the bodies of Kim Camm and Jill Camm. She said that a Y-STR analysis is essentially an analysis that looks only at the "Y" chromosomes found in males.

She said she found DNA profiles consistent David Camm or Bradley Camm on fingernail scrapings from Jill Camm, as well as fingernail clippings from Kim Camm.

Upon cross examination, she said it was possible for these profiles to appear from something as harmless as a touch, a hug or wiping someone's nose.

Prosecutor Todd Meyer pointed out that it can also come from two adults in a struggle.


Tattoo Revealed

At the end of the day, the moment of truth came -- and Prosecutor Stan Levco asked David Camm to come forward and show his tattoo.

For a moment, Kammen protested, arguing that they still had the photographs and could simply show those to the jury. But a sharp rebuke from both Levco and Judge Dartt, who argued that the decision had already been made, quickly silenced him.

Judge Dartt gave the order.

"Mr. Camm, I do need you to stand and show the jury the tattoo on the...right arm," Judge Dartt said.

Camm silently stepped forward, took off his jacket, loosened his tie, and unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a black t-shirt underneath. He then bared his arm to reveal what appeared to be a tattoo of a crown of thorns, with a sort of cross in the center.

When the jury was done looking, he returned to his seat.

Judge Dartt informed Special Prosecutor Stan Levco that he was free to call his next witness.

"Your honor, the State of Indiana rests," Levco said.

The time was 6:09 p.m.

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

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