DAVID CAMM BLOG: Spatter or Transfer? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

DAVID CAMM BLOG: Spatter or Transfer?

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Sept. 26, 2013

LEBANON, Ind. (WDRB) -- I have two words to describe today in court: Butterfinger cake.

It seemed to be the topic of conversation throughout the latter half of the day. You should know that the court staff, the jury and the sheriff's deputies have food catered into the courthouse on a daily basis. And when court resumed after lunch, Judge Jonathan Dartt was in a jovial mood. He addressed the jury before getting started.

"Did you happen to get a piece of that Butterfinger cake?" he asked the jury.

Someone said no. Apparently that hadn't been served to any of the jurors.

"Oh my goodness," Judge Dartt said. "We're gonna have to work on that."

Apparently, the judge did work on it.  When the jurors returned from the 10 minute recess they take late afternoon (which lasted a little bit longer than 10 minutes this time) the judge revealed that "some of the Butterfinger cake made its way back to the jury room."

A smiling Judge Dartt asked the jurors whether they liked the cake and several of them nodded yes.

The cake came from Brenda's Cubbard, a small diner across the street from the courthouse, and one of the owners happened to be in the courtroom. Several of the media members asked him about the cake during a short recess. He said something about crumbling Butterfinger candy bars into little bits and then pouring maple syrup on them, letting the syrup seep down into the mix.

However the cake is made, it seemed to put smiles on a lot of faces Thursday afternoon, which was a good thing -- particularly with some of the difficult subject matter this courtroom has heard over the past few weeks.

 

Witness: Jeff Lockhart
Cousin of David Camm

(NOTE: The day began with witness Barie Goetz, but his testimony was interrupted by the testimony of Jeff Lockhart, who needed to get his testimony out of the way so he could return to his home in Virginia. Rather than splitting Goetz's testimony into halves, I'm combining it and placing it at the end of the blog.)

On Thursday, the jury heard testimony from Jeff Lockhart, David Camm's cousin and another one of the men who claim they were playing basketball with Camm at the Georgetown Community Church gym on Sept. 28, 2000 -- the night of the murders.

"Were you the guy who organized the basketball games?" asked Stacy Uliana, one of Camm's defense attorneys.

"Yes," Lockhart replied.

"Were there regulars?"

"Yeah, we had guys who would show up pretty much every week, and some who would show up only occasionally," Lockhart said.

He explained that he would make phone calls, trying to scrounge up a dozen or so players so they could play five-on-five and have a few extras in case someone had to sit out.

He then turned his attention to the night of Sept. 28, 2000.

"I got there right at 7:00," he said, explaining that he took his daughter to his in-laws to spend the night on the way to the Georgetown Community Church family life center.

When he arrived at the gymnasium, his knew his cousin had already arrived.

"Dave was there," he said. "I recognized his truck. I pulled in right up next to him."

Lockhart testified that a "typical night" of basketball would begin with the players arriving one-by-one and warming up, shooting baskets until enough players arrived that they could begin.

"Were you the guy who disarmed the alarm when you got there?" Uliana asked.

"Yes," Lockhart replied, adding that he was also the one who set the alarm when everyone left.

At some point in the night, did David Camm sit out of the game?

"Yes," Lockhart said, though he admitted that he couldn't remember what time David Camm sat out, or which game it was. But he said he caught sight of Camm during this period.

"I saw him," he said. "He was sitting and talking to Tom Jolly...when we were going in that direction, I would see him."

(Earlier this week, Jolly -- a member of the Georgetown Community Church -- testified that he spoke with Camm on the sidelines during the time he sat out of the game.)

Lockhart said someone even threw out a comment about Camm being old and out of shape while he was sitting out of the game.

"Someone was ribbing, right?" Uliana asked. "Calling him old or something like that?"

Lockhart said that was correct.

What was David Camm's demeanor that night?

"Just normal," Lockhart replied. "I didn't notice anything different." Lockhart also said he never saw any blood on Camm's shoes or t-shirt.

At about 9:20, Lockhart said everyone left the gym and he set the alarm. He said when he pulled away, David Camm was in front of him, racing Philip Lockhart out of the parking lot.

Uliana then questioned Lockhart about testimony given by Scott Schrank -- one of the basketball players -- yesterday afternoon. Schrank testified that some time after Camm was arrested, Jeff Lockhart called him and told him to be careful what he told investigators because it might not line up with what the other players were saying. Schrank said "it kind of upset me because I'm just telling exactly what I remember." He said they had been friends before, but after this conversation, their relationship "changed dramatically."

With Lockhart himself now on the stand, Uliana asked him whether he ever tried to influence the testimony of the other basketball players.

"No," he said.

What had Schrank said in the phone call?

"He had told me that he got confused easily because of the rapid fire questions," Lockhart said, adding that Schrank told him, "he had a hard time answering."

Lockhart said he told Schrank just to take his time and respond.

Lockhart said their relationship had cooled, but only because Schrank moved to Corydon and Lockhart resides in Virginia. He said children and family matters kept them both busy, but they "talk from time to time" and had actually spent time reconnecting while waiting to testify outside the courtroom yesterday.

Moments later, Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer rose to cross-examine Lockhart.

Meyer noted that Camm and Lockhart had been particularly close.

"You're more than a cousin," he said. "You're his friend."

"Yes," Lockhart agreed.

Meyer also pointed out that both Camm and Lockhart had been employees of United Dynamics and that Lockhart had been "a staunch supporter of David's" from the beginning. Lockhart agreed to that as well.

In fact, Meyer said, when the crime documentary "48 Hours" featured a two-hour special on the Camm case (called "Murder on Lockhart Road"), Lockhart was interviewed as one of Camm's supporters.

Meyer then questioned Lockhart about the time Camm sat out the game and was allegedly seen talking to Tom Jolly on the sidelines.

Was Lockhart watching Camm the entire time?

"I was playing the game," Lockhart said.

Meyer asked Lockhart if he ever saw Camm get a drink or go to the bathroom during that time.

"I did not see him the whole time," he replied. "I was playing the game."

At any time had Lockhart spoken to the basketball players about the events of that night?

"If it was, it wasn't anything we were trying to coordinate," Lockhart said.

Uliana countered that, of course he talked to the other players.

"You're related to some of them, right?" she said. "That's something normal people would talk about."

"Was it kind of hard to be a Lockhart at that time?" Uliana asked.

"That's a yes," Lockhart replied. "It's still hard to talk about."

Regarding the 48 Hours special, Uliana pointed out that several investigators and blood experts on the prosecution's side of the case were featured in the documentary, "so you weren't the only witness giving interviews."

Lockhart ended his testimony with a re-affirmation of all he'd said before.

"I know what I know and I remember what I remember."

Moments later, he was excused.

 

Witness: Barie Goetz
Independent Forensic Consultant

Also on Thursday, the court heard testimony from Barie Goetz, an independent forensic consultant who has been self-employed since Feb. 2004.

Goetz explained that he'd worked for the Indiana State Police laboratory system beginning in 1978. He later worked for the Colorado State Police laboratory system. He has a graduate degree in medical technology and a Master's degree in forensic science, and listed several "hard science" classes he'd taken in chemistry, biology and physics.

He also said he'd had taken several advanced courses in blood stain pattern analysis.

Defense attorney Richard Kammen asked him if he'd ever heard of Tom Bevel, another blood stain pattern analyst who had testified in the trial, but for the prosecution.

Goetz was aware of him.

Was Bevel an expert?

"Yes."

"Is he always right?" Kammen asked.

"No," Goetz replied, adding that he does not agree with Bevel's findings in the David Camm case.

Goetz testified that in Jan. 2012, he was asked to look at the evidence in the Camm case and "approach it from a blood stain pattern aspect" as well as with a focus on crime scene reconstruction.

He said he looked through six boxes of evidence and pored over several hundred photographs, also reading transcripts of people who had testified in the previous trials. While visiting the Bronco that was found at the crime scene, he had it scanned so that he could make a digital model of both the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Goetz testified that he also did a reconstruction of the crime scene, focusing on David Camm's leaning over the body of his daughter Jill to pull the body of Bradley Camm out of the Bronco.

His testimony began with an examination of the bloody half-shoeprint that was photographed somewhere in the garage (it's not clear where.) In the past, prosecutors have argued that the presence of this half-shoeprint in an otherwise clean crime scene indicates that the scene was cleaned.

Goetz said he compared photos of the shoe-print with the bottom of Camm's tennis shoes, and they are very similar.

"It's most likely an identification, but there's not enough there to make an identification," he said.

But how did blood get on the shoe? And how was this shoeprint made? Goetz said he did some experiments in an attempt to find out, using tennis shoes similar to Camm's -- and real human blood.

(NOTE: "Where did Goetz get real human blood?" you might ask. Goetz told the jury that he gets his blood from a willing donor -- a man who frequently donates his own blood to the cause of Goetz's experiments, and has donated as much as six tubes before. He says the donor's wife is a nurse, and insists on drawing the blood herself. This tells me two things: a) this guy REALLY trusts his wife, and, b) he's likely very, very pale.)

Goetz said after doing experiments, he believes the shoes became bloody when Camm stepped on a blood-soaked fabric. Goetz said the only blood soaked fabrics nearby were Kim Camm's white pants (which were lying on the floor near her body at the time) and her dark blue blouse.

Goetz said he believed David Camm stepped on his wife's bloody pants when he placed Bradley's body on the ground and attempted to administer CPR. Because the soles of tennis shoes are rarely flat (instead the toes curl upward), there would only be a partial shoeprint.

Goetz showed the jury a photograph of a re-enactment he did with people of comparable sizes standing in for the bodies of Kim and Brad. The photo showed an actor portraying David Camm placing Bradley on the floor.

After Camm stepped on the bloody fabric, Goetz believes he ran across the street to get his uncle, Nelson Lockhart, and when he ran through the grass, the blood was essentially wiped from his shoe.

Goetz then turned his attention to the "ovoid" shaped stain prosecutors had identified on David Camm's left shoe. Prosecutors have claimed this stain, which has a tail almost like a comet, moving from toe to heel, was projected onto Camm's shoe instantly when Kim Camm was shot.

But Goetz disagreed. He said he believes it's a "transfer" stain -- a blood stain that appeared after the shoe simply rubbed up against a blood source. He said he based this opinion on the appearance of the stain, the location of the stain and the types of stains that surround it.

"Certainly projected blood would not have that appearance," he said. "The appearance is not consistent with projected blood."

Goetz blasted what he said was the habit some experts have of singling out individual blood stains without noticing the stains around them.

"It's always been blood stain pattern analysis," he said. "Not blood spot." He added that many experts have a hard time understanding this distinction.

He then gave the opinion that this "ovoid" stain was actually caused when the loop of Camm's bloody shoelaces rubbed up against the left side of his shoe.

Goetz also challenged the prosecution's theory that someone had attempted to wipe the stain off to hide it, as evidenced -- the state claimed -- by the "skeletal" outline of the stain. Goetz said this wasn't caused by any wiping motion, but by the fact that the blood on the shoe contained more serum than red blood cells, and that the red blood cells had migrated to the outside of the stain, creating the red outline.

"Would you expect to see more than one projected stain if you had projected stains?" Kammen asked.

Goetz said that he would.

"To sum it up, your conclusion is that the ovoid stain on the outside of Mr. Camm's shoe is transfer from the shoelaces?" Kammen asked.

"Correct," Goetz said.

Goetz went on to address other evidence, but perhaps his most important testimony focused on Area 30 -- that controversial area near the front hem of David Camm's t-shirt where prosecutors say they found several stains, smaller than a millimeter, that they claim are examples of high-velocity impact spatter. (High-velocity impact spatter is blood spatter that can only appear on someone who is less than four feet away from a victim as they are shot.)

"Let's talk about the main event here -- namely, Area 30," Kammen began.

"Yes sir," Goetz replied.

Goetz theorized that the tiny stains were transfer stains caused when David Camm climbed into the Bronco and leaned over the body of his daughter Jill to remove the body of Bradley. He said it's likely the stains were the result of Jill's bloody hair brushing up against Camm's shirt.

"Did you attempt to...replicate...Mr. Camm's efforts to remove his son from the car?" Kammen asked.

"Yes we did," Goetz said, explaining that his first experiment involved him trying to remove a 40-lb. bag from the back of the car.

"It was very physically challenging for me to remove a bag from the back seat," Goetz said.

He said he later brought in live children to play the roles of Brad and Jill's bodies. He added that he had to "be very cautious" about this part of the experiment, and that he "did not want to traumatize" the children in any way. Goetz said no human blood was used in the demonstration, and the 5-year-old girl was not told anything about guns or bodies.

The jurors where then shown a graphic image: it was the body of Jill Camm, as she was found in the Bronco. She had been shot in the head. Her body was slumped over the seat belt, her eyes closed. There were blood stains on her hand, and on her forehead, and a stream of blood was flowing down from her ear and into her mouth.

Goetz explained how he believed the blood may have gotten from Jill's hair to Camm's shirt.

"Area 30 in your opinion is transfer from blood onto Camm's t-shirt?" Kammen asked.

Goetz agreed that it was, pointing to Jill Camm's hair, "where microscopic drops of blood would be present."

Goetz then showed the jury a video reenactment of how Camm could have leaned into the back of the Bronco, pulled out Bradley's body, and accidentally brush the hem of his t-shirt against Jill's hair, creating the stains.

But Special Prosecutor Stan Levco noted that the photo of Jill's actual body showed a backpack next to her body. He said that backpack was missing from Goetz's demonstration, and might affect the ability to create the stains.

"Well, it's certainly possible," Goetz admitted.

Goetz went on to show the jury photos of stains he created on several white t-shirts by rubbing the shirt up against the synthetic hair of a doll that had been dipped in blood, then allowed to dry for over an hour, so it would be comparable to the blood on Jill's hair.

"We were able to generate very fine droplets of blood stains from the hair to the t-shirt," he said.

He then showed the jury a slide comparing the stains created from the bloody hair with the stains in Area 30 of David Camm's t-shirt.

"They look alike," Kammen said at one point.

"Yes they do," Goetz said.

Court was adjourned for the day a short time later. Prosecutors expect to cross-examine Goetz tomorrow.

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

 

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