Witnesses say David Camm was playing basketball the night his fa - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Witnesses say David Camm was playing basketball the night his family was murdered

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LEBANON, Ind. (WDRB) -- Two men who took the stand Thursday morning in the David Camm trial say they were playing basketball with Camm on the night his family was murdered.

The two witnesses said they never noticed Camm acting strangely that night and never noticed him leave the gym.  Jeff and Martin Dickey are brothers who claim they were playing basketball with Camm on the night his family was murdered, and that Camm sat out during a 5-on-5 game, but never saw him leave the gym.

Martin Dickey described Camm as being in a "happy-go-lucky" mood that night and making plans for the following day to pressure-wash the church. The prosecution claims Camm left the gym that night and killed his family.

The prosecution pressed Martin Dickey on previously saying Camm lived only three minutes away, but that witness says he had never been to Camm's house, and wouldn't know for sure.  Both witnesses say during the pickup game they never noticed blood on Camm's clothing.

Next the stand was Dr. Robert Shaler, nationally known for his work identifying victims from the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.

He told the jury that more peer-reviewed studies needed to be conducted to determine if blood stain pattern analysis is reliable.

Dr. Schaler said the term "high-velocity impact spatter" is rarely used any more. "It's not and it shouldn't be," he said.  He said in looking at blood spatter experts in this case, "half say one thing and half say something else."

He also maintained that if you are going to "opine" about blood spatter being in the weave of a particular fabric, you'd better do studies on that fabric.

He also testified about two perceived biases in the forensic science community: observer bias and context bias.  "Observer bias," he said, means unconsciously interpreting evidence to come to a preconceived conclusion, while "context bias" is when what you already know about a situation leads you to conclusions not supported by evidence.

He said the only thing to protect from both biases is to "rigorously employ the scientific method."  He added, "Real science isn't just based on our expectations."

Dr. Schaler told the jury, "Either blood stain pattern analysis is based on science or it's an art form," and that if blood stain pattern analysis is an art form (not a science) then anyone can come up with opinions on it.  He also criticized "DNA wienies" -- people who sit in lab analyzing DNA all day but never go to scenes, but he added, "I don't think anybody is being deliberately fraudulent" about blood stain conclusions in this case.

Noting that there are only three blood stains on Camm's shirt, Schaler said making decisions of guilt or innocence based on only three stains is on "the edge of reliability."

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