Indiana News

Camm Jury Recommends Life in Prison

3/7/2006

A jury on Monday recommended that a former state trooper convicted twice of murdering his wife and two children should spend rest of his life in prison.

The same jury on Friday convicted David Camm of three counts of murder for the September 2000 slayings of his wife, Kim, 35, and their children, Bradley, 7, and Jill, 5. Jurors returned the verdict after deliberating for more than 40 hours over four days.

Jury foreman Robert Crowell says the victims and their families were much on the jurors' minds during deliberations.

"To the families of Kim, Brad, and Jill Camm, our hearts go out to you. All of you," he told reporters after the sentence was announced.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson told jurors during a hearing Monday that they should recommend a life term because Camm killed two children.

"It is one of the most, if not the most, heinous things an individual can do," he said.

Warrick Superior Court Judge Robert Aylsworth, who heard the case after a change of venue was granted, scheduled Camm's sentencing hearing for March 28.

Defense attorney Katharine Liell said she would appeal the conviction regardless of the sentence.

"The jury made a terrible mistake," Liell said. "We believed last week, we believe today, and we will believe for the rest of our lives that David Camm is innocent."

Camm, 41, left the state police after more than a decade to work for his uncle's construction company about four months before the shootings in the family's garage in Georgetown, about 15 miles west of Louisville, Ky.

He was serving a 195-year prison sentence in 2004, when the state appeals court overturned his first conviction in the murders, ruling that testimony about his extramarital affairs unfairly biased jurors.

Another man, Charles Boney, 36, also was convicted on three counts of murder for the killings in a separate trial in January and was sentenced to 225 years in prison.

Prosecutors said that Camm met Boney in June 2000 shortly after Boney's release from prison where he served seven years for armed robbery and criminal confinement convictions. They allege Camm and Boney worked together to carry out the shootings.

Jurors were not told of Boney's conviction and convicted Camm based on testimony accusing Camm of molesting his daughter. Some of the 11 basketball players, including Camm's uncle Sam Lockhart, were mistaken that they were with him when the killings happened, jurors said.

"The predominate rational in the jury is that this is the punishment that fits the crime," juror Robert Crowell told reporters. "I personally believe David Camm pulled the trigger."

Crowell said the jury did not take its first vote until Friday and was split 9-to-3 to convict Camm. Two more votes followed before a unanimous guilty vote.

The sentencing recommendation ends a long and costly trial.

Henderson said this trial cost taxpayers in Floyd County at least $375,000 and that he did not see any reason an appeals court would overturn the conviction.

"My message to David Camm is this: You will spend the rest of your life in prison. It's over," Henderson said. "There is closure for the community and these families."

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