Man Convicted of Slaying His Family Receives Life Term
A judge on Tuesday sentenced a former Indiana state trooper convicted twice of killing his wife and two young children to life in prison.
Jurors earlier this month 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, and recommended the life term.
"I am innocent; I did not do this," Camm said before the judge announced the life sentence with no possibility of parole. "Another tragic mistake has been made."
A separate jury in January convicted an ex-convict, Charles Boney, in the murders, a fact not admitted into testimony. Camm's defense attorneys said that will be a considerable element in their appeal.
"What can we say? What can we do? How many times can you stand in a courtroom beside an innocent man who has been convicted?" Katharine Liell, Camm's lead defense attorney, said after the sentencing.
Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson, who tried both Camm and Boney, said he was happy with the verdict and that he did not believe Camm's emotional address to the court.
The case was never about Camm's freedom, it was about his wife and two children, he said.
"Justice has been done here," Henderson said. "This case is closed."
A different jury in 2002 convicted Camm in the murders and he was serving a 195-year prison sentence when the state appeals court overturned the verdict, ruling that testimony about Camm's extramarital affairs had unfairly biased jurors.
Camm 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, 15 miles west of Louisville, Ky. He has maintained his innocence throughout his two trials.
The prosecution's case centered on tiny bloodstains found on a T-shirt Camm wore the night of killings. Crime scene experts testified those stains placed him within feet of his daughter when she was shot while strapped into a seat of Kimberly Camm's Ford Bronco.
Defense attorneys argued that the stains got on Camm's shirt when he found the bodies. During the trial, 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.
Prosecutors contended that Camm left the game, killed his family, then made the five-minute drive back to the church before reporting the deaths when he returned home.
The case took a new twist within the past year when Boney was charged with conspiring with Camm to commit the murders.
Prosecutors said that Camm met Boney in June 2000, shortly after Boney's release from prison.
A jury convicted Boney, 36, on three counts of murder, and he was sentenced to 225 years in prison. Boney was first linked to the case last year by DNA evidence on a prison sweat shirt, inscribed with his nickname, "Backbone," and a palm print found at the crime scene.
His defense attorney acknowledged that Boney sold a gun to Camm, but argued that prosecutors had not provided evidence that Boney knew that Camm planned to kill his family.
"The jury should have heard the whole story of who Charles Boney is," Liell said.
Camm's attorneys have said Boney was solely responsible for the deaths, but the jury in Camm's trial was not told of Boney's conviction because of evidence rules.
Prosecutors alleged in their closing arguments that Camm killed his family because his wife discovered he had molested their daughter. Camm was not charged with child molestation, and experts called by the defense disputed whether proof existed that the girl was ever molested.
Prosecutors also maintained that 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.
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.