On the night of September 28, 2000, former Indiana state trooper, David Camm, called police and reported finding the bodies of his 35-year-old wife, Kim, and their two children, 7-year-old Brad and 5-year-old Jill, shot to death in the family’s garage in Georgetown, Indiana.
Camm, who had retired as a state trooper four months earlier to work in the basement waterproofing business with an uncle, said he had been playing basketball at a church and came home around 9 p.m. to find Kim outside the family vehicle on the floor of the garage. He said he looked in the car and found the children. He thought Brad might still be alive, so he reached over Jill and took out the boy and put him on the floor and began performing CPR. When the boy did not respond, Camm, 36, called the Sellersburg, Indiana State Police post.
On October 1, 2000, Camm was charged with three counts of murder primarily based on an analysis of the t-shirt he was wearing. A state forensic analyst said that some spatters of Jill’s blood were found on the shirt and were the result of high velocity blood spatter consistent with the spatter produced by shooting someone.
Due to the extensive media coverage of the case, jurors were selected from nearby Johnson County and brought to Floyd County Superior Court for the trial in January 2002.
The prosecution’s case was two-pronged—the t-shirt with the purported blood spatter, which was challenged by a defense expert, and extensive evidence about Camm’s personal life. Twelve women testified to a variety of relationships—some adulterous and some prolonged—with Camm. The prosecution contended that the motive was $750,000 in life insurance money.
Camm maintained that he had left the house to play basketball from 7 p.m. until 9:20 p.m. when he came home and found the victims. Police determined that the shootings took place sometime after 7:30 p.m. when Kim would have arrived home with the children after Brad’s swimming practice.
On March 17, 2002, the jury convicted Camm of three counts of murder. He was sentenced to 195 years in prison.
In August 2004, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial. The court held that the introduction of the extramarital affairs had been unfairly prejudicial.
Prior to the trial, a sweatshirt found under the boy's body was submitted for DNA testing. The DNA was not Camm's. The prosecution claimed the profile was submitted to the FBI's DNA database without finding a match, although evidence later showed the profile had not been submitted to the FBI database at all.
Prior to the second trial, the defense obtained further DNA testing and at the defense urging, the unidentified profile was submitted to the FBI database. The DNA profile from the sweatshirt was linked to a man named Charles Boney.
When questioned by police, Boney admitted owning the sweatshirt but said he had donated it to the Salvation Army prior to the shootings. After police matched Boney to a palm print found on the family’s vehicle, Boney gave an assortment of accounts, but ultimately said he had gone to the home to sell a gun to Camm and was outside of the garage when Camm shot the victims.
Due to the extensive publicity, the case was moved to Warrick County Superior Court and Camm was charged with three counts of murder and a count of conspiracy to commit murder. Boney was tried separately in 2005 and was convicted of three counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to 225 years in prison.
In 2006, at Camm’s second trial, the prosecution presented the blood spatter evidence, as well as three inmates who were housed in the same jail facility with Camm and who said that Camm had admitted the killings to them.
Additionally, the prosecution Boney's testimony that he conspired with Camm to commit the murders and, for the first time, the prosecution suggested that Camm had molested his 5-year-old daughter. The prosecution contended that the daughter either had reported or was going to report the abuse to her mother, and that Camm killed the family to conceal the molestation. The prosecution presented autopsy evidence that found blunt force trauma to her genitals and a pathologist testified the injuries were consistent with molestation occurring within 24 hours of her death.
The defense contended there was no evidence that Camm ever molested his daughter and contended that if there was evidence of molestation, it was caused by Boney, who was the sole perpetrator and had previously been convicted of assaulting women. But the defense evidence was barred by the trial judge.
At the close of the prosecution’s case, the judge dismissed the conspiracy charge. On March 3, 2006, Camm was convicted again of three counts of murder. This time, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
In 2009, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the convictions and sent the case back for a third trial. The Court held that Camm’s defense had been unfairly prejudiced by the introduction of the highly speculative evidence suggesting he had molested his daughter.
In the fall of 2013, Camm went on trial a third time with another change of venue—this time to Boone County Superior Court in Lebanon, Indiana. Prior to the trial, the judge barred any testimony relating to molestation. Boney testified for the prosecution that he brought an untraceable gun to the Camm home on the night of the murders and that he was outside the garage when Camm killed his wife and children.
The defense presented a Dutch forensic expert who testified that his analysis of the sweatshirt found at the scene showed the presence of Kim Camm’s DNA, suggesting Kim had struggled with Boney. The expert said he also found Boney’s DNA under one of Kim’s fingernails.
On October 24, 2013, the jury acquitted Camm and he was released.
– Maurice Possley