Former Indiana trooper cleared in family's deaths

  • Article by: TOM LoBIANCO
  • Associated Press
  • October 24, 2013 - 2:40 PM

LEBANON, Ind. — A former Indiana state trooper who has maintained his innocence in the slayings of his wife and two young children for 13 years finally found a jury that agrees with him.

After about 10 hours of deliberations over three days, jurors cleared David Camm Thursday in the Sept. 28, 2000, deaths of 35-year-old Kimberly Camm and their children, 7-year-old Brad and 5-year-old Jill. All were found fatally shot in the garage of the family's home in the southern Indiana community of Georgetown.

David Camm was released from custody in Lebanon about an hour after the verdicts were read. He's a free man after three trials and two successful appeals of his previous convictions in the case. He did not speak to reporters.

The deaths occurred about four months after Camm had resigned from the Indiana State Police force to take a job with his uncle. Camm, 49, has said he was playing basketball at a church at the time of the slayings.

As the verdict was read, Camm looked at the jury and said, "Thank you," defense attorney Richard Kammen said.

"We have been confident David was innocent, and seeing him vindicated — and this needs to be seen as a vindication of David — was very, very gratifying," Kammen said.

The defendant's father, Donald Camm, was jubilant after the verdict as he spoke to reporters along with his daughter, Julie Blankenbaker, and defense attorneys.

"I don't have the words. I'm very happy," he said.

David Camm's third trial was moved about 100 miles north of the crime scene to the central Indiana community of Lebanon to find an impartial jury.

Special Prosecutor Stan Levco acknowledged there might have been concerns about the credibility of a key state witness, Charles Boney, who was convicted of murder in the case and testified for the prosecution that Camm committed the slayings.

"We put on as good as a case as we could," Levco said Thursday afternoon.

Family members of Kimberly Camm were in the courtroom when the verdict was read, but they left without speaking to reporters.

"They lost 13 years ago when they lost their family," their attorney, Nick Stein, said.

Much of the testimony during the eight-week trial focused on blood spatter evidence and her husband's whereabouts at the time of the slayings.

Prosecutor Todd Meyer challenged Camm's alibi, saying other players couldn't say definitively that Camm never left the church gymnasium the night of the killings. Levco said in opening statements that Camm wanted to end his marriage and stood to benefit from insurance proceeds.

Kammen did not call the defendant to the stand. Kammen said he believed significant questions had been raised about the evidence presented against Camm and that there was no need for him to testify.

Camm's attorneys blamed Boney, who is serving a 225-year sentence for murder and conspiracy.

Boney, whose sweatshirt and DNA were found at the scene of the slayings, testified that he visited Camm's home on the day of the shootings and sold him the gun that was used.

He testified he was outside when the shootings occurred and that Camm also tried to shoot him but the gun misfired.

Prosecutors contended the two conspired to kill Kimberly Camm and her children.

The three trials have cost Floyd County, where the slayings occurred, more than $4 million and have forced officials to eliminate raises for most county employees and repair bridges and roads only in emergencies.

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