David Camm appeals court's decision to dismiss $30M lawsuit against Indiana

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A federal judge called the evidence used to convict David Camm, "awfully weak," and now, the former Indiana State Trooper wants another day in court.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court ruled a $30 million lawsuit against the state of Indiana could move forward. That ruling reversed 2018 lower court's decision to dismiss the case.

"I wasn't surprised by the results," Camm said. "It was a bit overwhelming."

The defendants are former Floyd County Prosecutor Stan Faith, who died in March of this year, Rodney Englert, an Oregon-based forensics analyst, Robert Stites, whom the lawsuit calls "a plainly unqualified forensic assistant" and Sean Clemons, a detective with ISP.

"The case will go forward, and we will get to try this case against four defendants," said Garry Adams, Camm's attorney. "And those were the four individuals that were primarily responsible for the initial probable cause affidavit that set this entire prosecution and incarceration in motion."

Camm spent 13 years in prison after two trials and two convictions. The former Indiana State Police trooper was accused of killing his wife and two children. Kim, Brad and Jill Camm were found murdered in the garage of the family's Georgetown, Indiana, home in September 2000.

But the lawsuit claims investigators had doubts from the beginning, mainly about the credentials of the person sent to examine crucial evidence. The suit claims, "the most experienced detective on the case, quickly realized that Stites was not qualified and did not belong at the crime scene."

Last year, the lawsuit went before the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit.  During oral arguments, the judges were very direct.

One judge questioned the timelines presented by the prosecution and said, "It's awfully weak."

Camm has always maintained he was playing basketball at a nearby church during the murders. At least 11 witnesses corroborate his story, but prosecutors said Camm raced home, committed the crimes and returned. The three judge panel seemed to question that theory.

"The slip away from the basketball theory, a basketball game theory, is even stranger," one judge said. "That involves getting home, committing the three murders, perhaps changing his clothes, no one says he goes back to the basketball game with blood on himself."

Camm's two earlier convictions were overturned on appeal, and a third jury found him not guilty.

Charles Boney was eventually named as a suspect, convicted and sent to prison for the murders. Before his arrest, Boney had a lengthy criminal record, several convictions against women, and he had also been represented by Faith in previous cases.

Adams made the oral arguments before the court of appeals, and Camm was also in the courtroom.

"Pardon my French, but they seemed pissed," Camm said. "They knew details, which surprised me, and their questions were hard and direct. It was very, very obvious to me and to others that those three judges had done due diligence in learning the case and having a very good grasp or understanding of the various nuances within the case."

Camm has already settled a lawsuit against Floyd County for $450,000.

There's currently no new court date for the current lawsuit. 

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