Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson takes stand again in own - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson takes stand again in own ethics hearing

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INDIANAPOLIS (WDRB) -- Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson took the stand Wednesday to fight for his career and law license.

Today is expected to be the last day of testimony.

Henderson’s colleagues and fellow Indiana prosecutors were first on the stand.

Melvin Wilhelm is Franklin County’s Prosecuting Attorney, and one of the most senior prosecutors in the state. He said Henderson is one of the most ethical prosecutors he knows.

On the other hand, Stacie Uliana, the defense attorney for David Camm -- a man who was twice convicted, and finally acquitted of the murders of his wife and children -- argued that Henderson caused irreparable harm to the justice system in Floyd County.

"The harm of having two interests: one, your personal interest and making money, and another, the interest of justice for representing the state and doing what’s right," Uliana said. "You can’t have them both."

Henderson himself took the stand Wednesday morning. He told the hearing officer that he was the son of immigrants – middle-class parents who struggled to send him and his siblings to private school. He said his father had only an eighth grade education, but was still, "the smartest person I knew."

Henderson added that after graduating from college, he was an Indiana State Police trooper before applying to law school. He added that Camm, who was also an Indiana State Police trooper, would sometimes call Henderson to ask him for advice.

Eventually, Henderson was elected Floyd County Prosecutor. He said he had no involvement in the first Camm murder trial, but watched it from a distance in Crawford County. When he became Floyd County Prosecutor, he said outgoing prosecutor Stan Faith met with him to tell him the importance of the Camm case and the ongoing appeal.

After the first murder convictions against Camm were reversed, Henderson said it was up to him whether he would retry Camm. He chose to do so, and the second Camm trial began in January 2006 and ended in March of that year. Alleged accomplice Charles Boney was tried separately at the same time. Both men were convicted.

During this time, Henderson said a literary agent reached out to him to ask if there was any interest in his writing a book about the Camm trial. Henderson says he doesn’t recall his first answer. He added that he eventually signed a literary agency agreement to write a book, but would never thought have writing about the case without being contacted.

He says he received permission from the family of Kim Camm, David Camm's wife, to write the book -- and that they talked about using the proceeds to create a fund to honor the victims.

Henderson said he was "bowled over by the media" after Camm's defense team released information to the public about him receiving six figures for the book. He added that the literary agency agreement he signed "means nothing," but Camm's defense team was able to have him removed from the case.

As for his legal fees defending him against the ethics allegations, Henderson said he knew the payment should come from county funds -- the only question was, whose budget?

The testimony is expected to wrap up this afternoon.

The allegations against Henderson stem from his handling of the David Camm triple murder case, which dates back to Sept. 2000. Camm was accused of murdering his wife, Kim, and children, Brad and Jill. Camm was convicted of the murders in 2002, but that conviction was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

In 2006, Camm and an alleged co-defendant, Charles Boney, were both convicted of the murders in separate trials. The Indiana Court of Appeals again reversed Camm's convictions in 2009, and in 2013, a jury acquitted Camm of all charges.

In a complaint filed in March of 2015, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission accused Henderson of "professional misconduct" for allegedly violating portions of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct by securing a deal to write a book about the Camm case after Camm's second trial, while the case was still in the appeals process. 

Henderson says there was never an actual book contract during the Camm trial, only a "literary agreement."

During Tuesday's proceedings, Henderson's attorney questioned one of Camm's attorneys about her personal relationship with Camm.

Stacy Uliana admits her sister had a personal relationship with Camm after he was acquitted in his third murder trial. Uliana stressed that the hearing was not about personal relationships or David Camm. 

"This proceeding is about the harm that was done to the Floyd County taxpayers, and about the harm that was done to my profession -- the legal profession -- by Mr. Henderson's conduct," Uliana said.

Henderson is also accused of violating ethics rules by using $27,500 in taxpayer money for his personal attorney to fight claims about the book deal.

After today's testimony concludes, the hearing officer will submit a report to the Indiana Supreme Court, which could take a few months to make a decision. 

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