Family of Joseph Cambron: "He gets very aggressive, very quickly - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Family of Joseph Cambron: "He gets very aggressive, very quickly"

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Joseph Cambron (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections) Joseph Cambron (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) --  Last year, while investigating Joseph Cambron in a sexual abuse case, a Louisville Metro Police Detective was told by Cambron's family that she should have a male police officer talk with him because “he gets very aggressive, very quickly.”

Det. Jennifer Boyer asked some people standing in Cambron's apartment on June 7, 2013, if they were related to Cambron, according to audio of the interviews in court records.

“Unfortunately, yes,” a woman responded, telling Boyer that Cambron, then 20, had been in and out of group homes, was violent and was off his medications.  They said he made his own weapons, pointed a BB gun at kids in the neighborhood and had been repeatedly accused of sexually abusing children.  

The walls in his apartment at the time were filled with holes where he threw knives, partly, he said, out of boredom. His knuckles were usually skinned up because he would punch trees or walls, usually out of anger.

“If it takes out my anger, and I don't feel it at the time, I am fine with that,” Cambron told police. “I try to bottle it up so I don't hit anybody else.”

Cambron told police during the investigation that he had been accused of sexually abusing five children in all – three in the neighborhood where he lived and two in a state home – but that he was innocent.

In August, he was acquitted by a Jefferson Circuit Court jury of sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl last year, a case in which there were issues with allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

Now he has now been charged with the murder of a 12-year-old boy found dead this week in Cherokee Park.

Ray Allen Etheridge and his family went to Mid City Mall on Tuesday, Sept. 30, and Etheridge wandered off. 

What happened next is unclear, but according to an arrest report, Etheridge somehow ended up in Cherokee Park. Police say Cambron got into an argument with Etheridge and stabbed him multiple times. Etheridge died from the stab wounds, and Cambron disposed of the knife.

Etheridge was found unresponsive around 4:30 p.m. in a wooded area in Cherokee Park near Hogan's Fountain by a passerby who called police. He was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police say there is no evidence that Etheridge was sexually abused.

Sarah Clay, an attorney for Cambron who represented him during his sexual abuse trial in August, had this comment regarding the case:

"This past August, Joseph Cambron was completely exonerated by a jury in a case involving a sex abuse claim.  After hearing all the evidence at trial, the jurors determined that the allegation had no merit and they acquitted him of any wrongdoing, returning a not guilty verdict in less than an hour.  Further, it should be noted that, as unprofessional as it may have been, the misconduct by the Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney who prosecuted the case did not affect its ultimate outcome. Rather, the evidence clearly did not support the charge."

According to interviews with police in that case, Cambron's family members said he had been accused of sexual abuse in the past but this was the first time he had been arrested.

One woman in his neighborhood interviewed by police said her son was sexually abused by Cambron, and she called the department's crime against children unit, but her son would not tell them what happened.

Cambron's sisters told police they didn't know if he was guilty of the sexual abuse but that something needed to be done about him, according to a recording of the interview.

“He can't keep acting the way he is acting,” one said. “He needs to be watched 24/7.”

The child in the sex abuse case accused Cambron of bringing her and a friend up to his apartment and then telling them he liked them. She accused him of throwing knives against a wall and chasing her around. And she said he sexually abused her.

In an interview with police, Cambron acknowledged the little girl had been in his apartment but denied touching her inappropriately, saying he watched a movie.

Asked why the child would say he had sexually abused her if he had not, Cambron told police, referring to other children in the neighborhood, “I have no idea, same reasons the kids over there said something like that.”

Cambron said two of the children who accused him in the past, residents with him at a state boys' home, later acknowledged they lied about the sexual abuse.

In a separate Aug. 12, 2013, interview with Louisville police, Cambron again told Boyer he hadn't sexually abused any children.

"I'm a virgin but I would not take my sexual energy out on no kid," he said. "That would never happen."

Cambron told police he accused his mother of sexually abusing him when he was a child – but that he had lied about it and this was “karma” coming back on him.  Cambron also said he was sexually abused by his uncle. And he said he improperly accused his foster parents of sexually abusing him.

People that sexually abuse someone else should “rot in hell,” Cambron told Boyer.

He told police he lived with his grandmother for awhile and was in and out of state custody. His sister was kicking him out of her home.

At the request of his sister, Cambron said he was thinking of “checking” himself into a place where he could work on his anger. But he said he had thus far not been able to find anything available that would help. And he said he was on no medications, though he had been prescribed many.

“I'd rather not have my life controlled by pills,” he said. “Pills are just disgusting. They are just an excuse to make money.”

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