Indiana News

Ex-Trooper's Attorneys Will Appeal Second Murder Conviction

3/4/2006

A former state trooper's second conviction on charges of murdering his wife and two young children came in a late night rush of courtroom emotion that ended with his attorneys vowing that their fight to clear his name would go on.

But what began six years ago when David Camm was charged with murder continues _ one family has the verdict it sought, while another holds passionately to its belief that Camm is innocent.

Katharine Liell, Camm's attorney, called Friday's guilty verdict "erroneous" and said she planned an appeal based on evidence barred from the trial that links another man to the murders of Kimberly Camm, 35, and the couple's two children, Bradley, 7, and Jill, 5.

When asked if she would continue to represent Camm, Liell said: "until he's free."

Charles Boney, an ex-convict, was arrested last year after investigators linked him to the case with a palm print and DNA evidence on a prison sweat shirt found at the crime scene.

Boney, 36, was convicted in January of three counts of murder in a separate trial and has been sentenced to 225 years in prison.

But his conviction and other evidence regarding Boney, including a statement he made police detailing his involvement in the killings, were withheld from Camm's trial.

"We wish the jury would have heard the whole story," a tearful Liell told The Associated Press on Saturday. "They got an incomplete story. It didn't make any sense why Boney would have been there. He was there because of his obsessive sexual appetite for women."

The defense argues that Boney was a sexual predator who had targeted Kimberly Camm. Before trial, the judge had ruled that Camm's layers could not use evidence of Boney's previous crimes, including his admitted foot fetish.

Prosecutors alleged in their closing arguments that Camm killed his family because his wife discovered that he had molested their daughter. Camm, 41, was not charged with child molestation and defense experts questioned whether there was actual proof the girl was molested.

Prosecutors also said Kimberly Camm planned to leave her husband and that Camm was motivated to kill her to cash in on insurance policies worth nearly $300,000.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said he was certain the right man was convicted and that there was ample evidence that pointed to Camm's premeditation in the killings.

"This wasn't a last-minute decision," Henderson said. "He had molested his daughter."

Camm has maintained his innocence since the September 2000 shootings in the garage of the family's home about 15 miles outside of Louisville.

He shook his head slowly when the verdict was read, saying "I didn't do it" while relatives seated behind him sobbed and shook as the verdict was read.

Frank and Janice Renn, Kimberly Camm's parents, were in court to hear the verdict and expressed relief with the outcome. They called it a victory for Kimberly Camm and her children.

"I just felt like they were looking down on us," said Janice Renn, Kimberly's mother. "We can just grieve in private now. That's what we need."

Camm had left the state police about four months before the shootings following more than a decade of service on the force to work for his uncle's construction company. He was convicted in 2002 in the killings and sentenced to 195 years in prison.

The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned that verdict in 2004, ruling that testimony a judge allowed about Camm's extramarital affairs had unfairly biased jurors.

Camm's retrial was held in Boonville, near Evansville and about 100 miles west of the Camm home, because of news coverage of the shootings in the Louisville area.

Jurors deliberated for more than 40 hours over four days after the six-week trial. Prosecutors will seek a sentence of life in prison without parole when the jury reconvenes Monday to consider the sentence.

The prosecution's case against Camm centered on tiny bloodstains found on a T-shirt Camm was wearing the night of killings. Prosecution experts testified those stains placed him within feet of his daughter when she was shot while still in Kimberly Camm's Ford Bronco.

Defense attorneys argued that the stains got on Camm's shirt when he found the bodies. They also called 11 witnesses who testified that Camm was with them as they played basketball in a nearby church gymnasium at the time of the killings.

Sam Lockhart, Camm's uncle and one of his most ardent defenders, claimed he was with Camm the night of the murders. He said Saturday he will continue to fight to free Camm.

"This was the second time around for us and we were hopeful that truth would finally win out," Lockhart said. "It's frustrating on my part knowing what the truth is and knowing what has happened to Dave."

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