Oct. 23, 2013
LEBANON, Ind. (WDRB) -- As the jury continues to deliberate in the State of Indiana vs. David Camm, we're continuing to bring you profiles of the major players in the case. Today, we bring you an interview with Sam Lockhart, David Camm's uncle and chief supporter since Camm's arrest. Lockhart testified in all three trials that he was playing basketball with his nephew at the Georgetown Community Church gym at the time of the murders.
The phone interview took place on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 18, as Lockhart was driving to Indianapolis. (NOTE: The comment section is disabled on blog entries profiling Camm and Renn family members.)
Travis: You've been called David Camm's biggest supporter from day one. What was it about this case that made you absolutely certain that David Camm wasn't involved in the murders?
Sam: For one thing, the state allegations that David killed his family – at the time that he was supposed to have killed his family, I was with him at the gym. So I know that he was with me that evening from about 7:15 all the way up until 9:00.
Now from the beginning, I would not have known if he had killed his family before 7:00. And I wouldn't have known if he killed his family after 9:00. But I do know that he didn't kill his family from the time I was there, to the time I left. So therefore, as I saw more and more about the case, I was more and more convinced that he didn't do it.
The other issue is, I know Dave Camm. I understand that that's not evidence, but I know him and I know how he loved his family and all of those types of things. I see how he treated those kids and he just couldn't have done it. Now, I understand I'm his uncle and I'm gonna say that, but I knew he couldn't have done that.
And then the rush to judgment on the arrest: some of the things I was told by Sean Clemmons [the lead investigator on the case at the time of Camm's arrest] before the murders. None of it made sense to me. This Robert Stites – a supposed expert – was telling Sean certain things that Sean related to me. One being, "Sam, I know Dave did it because our expert – our world renowned expert – said he saw an outline…on the overhead garage door that matched Dave's profile."
Now that was silly to me, that he would say something like that. I said, "Sean, that is crazy." How a profile could match Dave Camm on the overhead garage door from where it blocked the blood from Kim – he thought it was Kim at that point in time, that his body blocked the blood of Kim and left the outline of Dave on the overhead garage door.
…As we know now, that was silly. In the first place, it was non-sensical to me. And in the second place, it turns out that this world-renowned expert pointed out those spots on the overhead garage door as blood, and they were actually oil spots – or petroleum-based.
So it's things like that that reaffirmed in my mind that David Camm was not the killer – and they were rushing to judgment.
There are a lot of other things…why I am supporting him. Number one: I wanted to find out in the very beginning – I knew Dave didn't do it. And I wanted to find out who killed Kim, Brad and Jill, because they were my family. I saw them every week. I treated them like my grandkids and Kim was like my daughter. And so, if I knew that Dave Camm didn't do it, someone did.
So that's when I started, what they call, I became an investigator. Well, I wasn't trained to do an investigation but I did find some things that actually ended up leading to Charles Boney. I worked with Mike McDaniel in the first trial and we found a DNA profile that the Indiana State Police lab missed. We sent that off to Cellmark and it came back with a profile, that Mike McDaniel gave to Stan Faith and asked him to run that profile. Stan Faith told him that he did run it but there was no hits. Of course, Stan Faith has changed his tune on that several times, has given several different explanations. He said he gave it to Sean Clemmons and Sean Clemmons dropped the ball. Just ridiculous things like that.
But in the end, one of my goals was to find out who the killer was and have him arrested and to have him prosecuted. The other one is I know Dave didn't do it and I want him out. Those are the goals. We accomplished one goal. One goal is we did find the actual killer. The other goal, hopefully, we'll obtain this coming week.
Now, had it not been for us – I'm talking about the defense team, and specifically I'm talking about myself and our family – had it not been for us continuing to press this issue, all the way through the first trial, through the appeals court, up until we finally forced the state – or compelled the state – to run that unknown DNA through the CODIS system back in 2005…Charles Boney would never had been arrested for this. He may have been arrested for something else. But they were not looking for anyone because they thought they had the killer in David Camm.
So our fight has paid off. I know that the Floyd County taxpayers are upset and angry and a lot of them took their anger toward me. But it should not be toward me, and I don't care. They can blame whoever they want. It should actually be toward the State of Indiana and the prosecutors, and the investigators, for not doing this case properly.
Now I'm sure by the end of this thing, it's probably going to close to $5 million. That's not counting the cost from our family and my amount of money I've spent and time I've spent because they got off on the wrong track when they hired this world renowned blood stain pattern crime scene reconstructionist who turned out to be nothing but a fraud. All he was a photographer. And they took that word of this photographer…
Travis: And you're speaking of [Robert] Stites there?
Sam: That's right. When Stites was hired to come in, and Stan Faith reported him to be a world renowned blood stain pattern analyst and called him "Professor Stites" – which he was not – the detectives: Mickey Neal, Jim Biddle, Darrell Gibson, Sean Clemmons, all thought he was an expert. And when he told them there was high velocity impact spatter on Dave Camm's shirt, then they thought that was really high velocity impact spatter.
Mickey Neal actually asked him, "Are you sure?" And he said he was 90 percent sure. Neal said, "Well that's not good enough," so he went and called Rod Englert, his boss, and described it over the phone. Englert then said, "You need to call it. Go ahead and make the call." So he did, and that's when they arrested him…of course the murders happened on Sept. 28, 2000, and Englert never looked at that shirt until Jan. 2001.
So Dave Camm's arrest was based on a fraudulent probable cause affidavit from the very beginning. Once that arrest was made, the state now was committed – they were pot committed (I'm gonna use a term they use playing poker) – to keep Dave Camm as guilty. And they did everything they possibly could in order to get a guilty verdict – including some things that was illegal to bring into the trial, but the judge let it in. Of course…we got it reversed because they basically cheated.
Travis: You've kind of actually led into my second question. You've sacrificed a lot for your nephew, different things – time, money, the whole gambit. Could you kind of go over what you've sacrificed over the years?
Sam: Well, let me clarify. I have not sacrificed it for my nephew totally. I have sacrificed it for my niece, Kim Camm, and my great niece and my great nephew, Brad and Jill. That's who are the victims here. And yeah, I've sacrificed a lot of time. I've invested. I'm not even going to use the word "sacrifice." I've invested a lot of time away from my family, away from my grandkids, away from my business, in order to do what was right for those kids, and for David. So my whole compelling thing was not to just get David out. My compelling thing was to find the person who killed our family. And I was going to do it as long as I had money, time, health, or whatever – until I die. And we accomplished those things.
It was a progression that we continued to find more and more information – and of course, all the information we found, the state was fighting against everything, all of our moves. Of course you look at what we had to fight with, which was myself and a couple of other ones, against the entire state of Indiana, and their purse, and their prosecutors, all of their detectives, all of their money. And it's a tough battle. I don't think that they realized that they were gonna have to fight this battle.
And I found out over here, Travis, that this is not the only case that there is some injustice being done. It's all over the world. I've got contacts all over the United States, all over Europe, all over Australia. I have contacts of people who have been wrongly convicted. I've met a couple of them. And what the state does, they can convict, and if they don't have anybody to fight for the person who is convicted wrongly, then that person goes away. There's nobody fighting for them, so they chalk that up as another conviction. And that's something that prosecutors love to have on their record: convictions.
So yeah, my sacrifices have been money, time, energy, time away from my family, time away from my wife, vacations – and I'm not crying about it. I mean, you asked me the questions, and I do not regret one thing I've done, because how am I gonna turn my back on something that I know is a lie? How can I turn my back on something that I know is false? And my nephew who was wrongly convicted – there's no way.
Travis: I remember one of the basketball witnesses – and forgive me, I don't recall who that was…and they said, "It isn't easy being a Lockhart." How has your family been affected by the public perception of this case?
Sam: Well I can't give you all the public, is say, carte blanche, everybody is against us, but there are several things or incidents that happened. Especially, with my kids. This past weekend, my wife and I went down to Harvest Homecoming…and just one incident. There are hundreds I could tell you about. There was a couple in front of us, when the husband turned around, looked at me and saw me – glanced out of the corner of his eye – and he poked his wife, and she turned around and looked at me, and her eyes got real big like I was going to hurt her, and they quickly went off in the opposite direction. Well, I'm so used to it it didn't bother me.
Other incidents: you go and sit down at a ballgame. Before you sit down there are people there, and they'll get up and move. It gives me plenty of room to sit. I've had ignorant people yell at us from a car, and call you whatever names they prefer to call you. And there again, I'm not whining or crying about it. I'm not a victim of this. I don't want that to be put out there that I am being mistreated…you asked that question for a reason.
I understand people have their hates. They have been fed a lot of untruths, and they've believed a lot of untruths, and they've started rumors, the rumors became untruths…and they think that I am as bad as David Camm, who because of the rumors and the untruths, they hate because of that. I can't control that. All I know what to do is just get up everyday, do the best I can do with what I've got to continue the fight and the battle to get the truth out about this case. I don't worry about trying to control people and what they think of me. They either think of me as okay or not okay. Either way, it doesn't make any difference to me.
My kids: I hate it for my kids and for my grandkids. Now don't get me wrong – there is plenty of support for us. We've got a base of people that support us. They are there for us. They treat my kids and my grandkids right…and once they get to know our family and know us, they know that we would not go up there and try to hurt anybody and try to get a guilty person out.
If I thought Dave Camm had hurt Kim, Brad and Jill, they would have probably put me in jail. I would have at least called the police maybe that he would not made it down to the jail. I don't know if you understand what I'm talking about or not. I'm rambling right now, so…
Travis: I imagine you speak regularly with David Camm. How has prison changed him over the years?
Sam: As far as me knowing exactly how it's changed him – I know he's changed. Of course, 13 years locked away out of society, you become, I think, institutionalized to the point where you don't know what your next day is going to be, but you are told what to do every minute of every day. So Dave in the past, he was confident, he was productive, he was a people person, he was a person who I hired as a salesman, and he was outstanding. So he got along with people.
I don't know how much of that has been taken out of him. However, I do know this: everywhere that he goes, he has been housed, after the guards get to know him and the inmates get to know him, they treat him with respect. Basically, I've talked to a lot of them over the years – the corrections officers – they've pulled me to the side and said, "This guy is not guilty." Now, I can't tell you the number of people that's told me that, but it's been several.
So I think he still has his personality. He still has his people person skills, because he's not someone who is going to try be fake or phony. He is who he is. And I think he's able to be able to continue to be that, no matter where he's at. Now for 13 years, Dave has persevered under the worst circumstances. I can't imagine, Travis, basically coming home and finding my wife and kids slaughtered, and then three days later, I've been put away for 13 years. It doesn't get any worse than that in my opinion. It's one thing to lose your family – that's hard enough. But then to be wrongly convicted for 13 years, yeah, it has to change you somewhat. One thing he has never lost: he's never lost hope. He's always had hope that the truth would come. And it has slowly. He was ecstatic when we found who actually killed his family. And he thought at that point in time his freedom was assured. And we knew who killed them. But as you know, Keith Henderson didn't see it just to admit that the state had anything wrong and then concocted a conspiracy theory to have him re-arrested. The conspiracy theory was concocted on absolutely zero evidence. There has been no evidence – from the time he was re-arrested for conspiracy to commit murder with Charles Boney – and today. And there have been hundreds of people trying to find out that connection. There is not any. Actually the judge in Warrick County – I know you attended that – actually dismissed those charges and found him not guilty of that – he gave a directed verdict. So Dave can no longer ever be charged with conspiring with Boney, because that would be double jeopardy.
The reason he can't be charged with it and the reason that they didn't find anything was because it never happened. In order for you to believe that David Camm and Charles Boney met, you've got to believe Charles Boney. There's no one else who is gonna tell you that. No one else is can vouch for that.
So has he changed over the years? Yes. He's gotten older. He's lost a lot. You talk about my loss and my investment? It's nothing compared to what he has lost. But he's still strong. He still has hopes. He still has encouraging words for others to hang in there. He has helped a lot of people in that prison system that he's met. So there's been some good to come out of him being associated with some of the prisoners there.
Travis: How has he helped them?
Sam: I've been contacted by several of the people that he has met, that have gotten out, that they served their sentence and, along the way, as they've gotten out, they've gotten in touch with me and said that Dave had really helped them straighten their lives out – to help them go back to being a good citizen and those types of things.
It was basically, "Hey, without Dave I would probably have been a re-offender."
Travis: If Charles Boney is reading this blog and he could see your words, what would you say to him?
Sam: There's actually nothing I could say to Charles Boney, that would penetrate his psyche. His psyche is all about himself. If I could get through to him to tell the truth – which, he won't (and I'm the kind of guy who has a lot of hope and faith in things happening, but I have absolutely zero faith that he'll ever admit that he lied) – but I would ask him to simply tell the truth. That would never happen. And I probably know why he killed them, so I think if I asked him why he killed them, he would probably lie to me. So I wouldn't even ask him that. There's absolutely nothing I would ask him.
I don't need anything from him. So I don't care about him. I think that he is hopeless to the point where no one can reach him. I think he has blocked out any sense of ever telling the truth, so I have nothing to say to him. He's just sick. He is a sick person. I guess some people call him a psychopath – a sociopath. I'm not a doctor, so I can't put those labels on him. But I do know that he is a liar. He lies. And then he admits that he lies. And then he tells another lie, and he says, "This lie is the truth." But later on he says, "No. I'm lying."
Anyway, to answer your question: What would I tell Charles Boney? I'd tell him to have a nice life.
Travis: Suppose David Camm is acquitted…what are his immediate plans? Do you think he would live in Floyd County? Where would he work? What would he do? What does the future hold for David Camm?
Sam: Travis, if I knew that, I would tell you. I don't know that. I do know we're gonna take it one step at a time. I do know there is so much hate built up for David Camm in Floyd County, that it would be hard for him.
Now let me make this clear: I think haters are more vocal than supporters. So there may be a few haters, and many supporters, but you only hear the haters. And most of the haters are cowards. I think they hate because that's their nature. I think they hate because they've been fed and they're wanting to believe all the bad things that the prosecutors have said about Dave. I think they're led around to believe – they have a tendency to want to have some hate in them. So there may be less people out there who hate Dave than there are supporters, but the haters are louder – more vocal.
So I don't know what's going to go on with him after he gets out. You do know that he's broke. You do know that he has no clothes. He has his prison shoes. He has his prison clothes. He has nothing. They stripped all his money away from him. They stripped everything away from him. He does have family – which I am one of them – but he has nothing else. So he has no way to earn income at this point.
So I don't know what to tell you about that, other than he will survive it, and he will be a productive citizen, whether it's here in Floyd County, or Indianapolis, or Florida or California or Australia. Those places just come to mind. We have no intentions to go to Australia. I just said that to make a point.
Travis: During the trial, some serious accusations have been levied against some folks. I know you threw out some names – Stan Faith, different members of the Indiana State Police Department, Keith Henderson. If there is an acquittal, do you see any repercussions, be it civil suits or misconduct charges – anything like that – against any individuals?
Sam: I can't answer that legally. I think they carry a certain amount of immunity. I do – I think they should be prosecuted, yeah. But you know, they had a chance to prosecute a perjurer and they didn't do that. They had a chance to prosecute Stan Faith when they found out he threatened a witness – and they didn't do that.
Do I think they're evil? Not all of them. Do I think they have evil intent? Yeah, I do. They have power and they have absolute power, with no downside with any cheating they do, they can do what they want with impunity. There's no checks and balances on them at this point.
So I don't know legally what we can do. I would love to be able to do that just to expose them for what they are: and I'm talking about Faith and Henderson. I'm not so much talking about Levco because I think Levco has done this, I guess, as good as he can. However Levco did have an opportunity to drop the charges…and a prosecutor has that right, he has a right to drop the charges.
Travis: Has there ever been a moment where you've questioned that, "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he [David Camm] was involved in the murders?
Sam: No. I don't know how to answer it more than that, Travis. There's absolutely no time that I ever think that David killed his family.
Travis: If there is an acquittal, will David Camm walk out the door and speak to the media?
Sam: I don't know that, Travis. I think one of the things about what I've read about people who have been incarcerated a certain amount of time – there's gonna have to be a time of adjustment. I think they've used the word "institutionalized."
I'm not sure if he's going to be talking to the media or not at the time he is acquitted. He may, he may not. We're probably going to leave that up to his counsel -- his attorneys. Also, Dave will be in on that decision, but I think the people who have that experience are the attorneys who are handling his case. I think that he will do whatever they suggest, and I have no reason to say "Do it" or "Not do it."
I know there's a lot of people curious about things, and if it went in for a free-for-all…I don't know how much information he would be able to give out about what his feelings are. Those are just some of my thoughts. I might be totally wrong…I really don't know. Those are just some of my thoughts.
Travis: Supposing the verdict comes back...and it's not what you want to hear – it's guilty. What then?
Sam: Well, at that point in time – I hope it doesn't come to that, of course – but at that point in time, my job's not done. I think we've got several things that we've got on the record – some objections on the record – that would be the basis for another appeal. So we would pursue those things to the point where we would go back to the [Indiana] Supreme Court…and those types of things.
Like I told the people before, I'm not going to quit on this thing until he's released – because I know he's innocent – or I die. That's when I quit. So it's not over if he's found guilty again, because he's innocent.
Travis: Has David Camm expressed any regrets…?
Sam: You know, he hasn't. I mean, I don't know. Over 13 years? I don't know what his regrets are. I mean, we all have some types of regrets, I guess, over a lifetime. He's done everything he can do in order to try to get the truth out, so I don't know what else he would have to regret.
He misses his family terribly. He tries not to imagine what age they are now – what they would look like. But whenever he sees some of the kids…that was Brad and Jill's age that come to the trial, some of their cousins when they come to the trial and see them grown in their 20s or late teens, then it hits him that that could be Brad or Jill standing there.
So that's pretty devastating to him. But as far as regrets, I'm not sure how to answer that.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This concludes the interview. Next on the blog, we will be posting an interview with Stan Levco, special prosecutor in this case.)
Travis K. Kircher is a Web Producer for WDRB News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.