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October 24, 2013

Former Indiana trooper cleared in family’s deaths

LEBANON, Ind. (AP) — 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 today 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.

The deaths occurred about four months after Camm had resigned from the Indiana State Police force to take a job with his uncle.

David Camm, 49, has said he was playing basketball at a church at the time of the slayings, but juries had convicted him twice before. Both convictions were overturned on appeal over issues with evidence.

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

“This is vindication,” 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.

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.

“The verdict is pretty clear,” Special Prosecutor Stan Levco said this afternoon.

Much of the testimony during the eight-week trial focused on blood spatter evidence and Camm’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 have blamed a second man for the killings. That man, Charles Boney, 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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