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David Camm

September 26, 2013

Blood-stain expert in Camm defense says markings not from gunshot spatter

LEBANON — David Camm likely got his wife’s blood on him from an effort to revive his son, and then running for help, a renowned blood-pattern analyst told jurors hearing Camm’s third murder trial Thursday morning.

“These are transfer stains, not projected stains [from a gunshot],” defense witness Barie Goetz testified.

“And stains of a feather stay together,” Camm’s lead counsel, Richard Kammen added later.

Camm’s team hired Goetz to review the collected evidence, and the findings from the state’s two blood pattern analysts — Tom Bevel of the Indiana State Police and Rod Englert, a private consultant specializing in crime scene reconstruction.

Bevel and Englert concluded that Camm could have gotten eight small dots of blood on his T-shirt only by shooting his 5-year-old daughter Jill at close range. Both also have told jurors that an “ovoid” blood stain on Camm’s left shoe likely is spatter from standing close to his wife Kimberly when she fell to the garage floor after being shot.

“I disagree. It’s a transfer stain,” Goetz testified.

Goetz holds a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, a master’s degree in forensic science and has more than 35 years of experience in blood pattern analysis, he told jurors.

He based his findings after conducting experiments using human blood, gym shoes and socks similar to Camm’s  and re-enactors to recreate the crime scene — both as investigators recorded it, and employing Camm’s account of events prior to summoning authorities.

Goetz agreed with Bevel and Englert that Camm’s right shoe could have made a bloody print that investigators found in the garage and photographed as evidence.

No investigator has identified where that print was found. But based on the crime scene as photographed, and Camm’s own claims, Goetz said that Camm may have stepped onto his wife’s pants, soaked in blood, as he performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation in a failed effort to save their 7-year-old son Bradley.

“A pool of blood [on the floor itself] would have created a greater-volume stain, not as precise as what we found,” Goetz told the jury.

The print itself is consistent with the wearer of the shoe raising up on his toes, as if running, or reaching, or attempting to remove or place an object, Goetz added.

Investigators likely found the print on the right side of the garage, where Camm would have parked, near the exit door, Goetz concluded.

In recorded interrogations, Camm has indicated that he ran across the road to a relative’s home for help after discovering the bodies and attempting CPR on Brad. Camm’s uncle, Nelson Lockhart, confirmed that contact in testimony Wednesday.

Goetz also asserted that Camm could have gotten blood stains on his left gym shoe and a sock if the loops of his laces bounced across the surface of his shoe as he ran.

“Projected blood doesn’t look like this — its shape is inconsistent,” Goetz told jurors. “This stain is surrounded by transfer stains, and it is a stain that is ‘reproduceable.’”

Goetz acknowledged that he was unable to recreate the ovoid stain in question through five attempts to run in similar gym shoes with laces soaked in blood.

“I was able to create it by dragging a bloody lace across the shoe,” Goetz said.

The other stains are in a radius, consistent with a shoelace loop striking the surface as a wearer ran, he added.

Further, the stains’ shapes indicate the lace could have gotten wet with blood pouring from the head wound to Kim, whose body lay next to Bradley’s, Goetz told jurors.

Goetz will detail his findings from examination of Camm’s T-shirt this afternoon.

— This article was produced as a partnership between the News and Tribune and WAVE 3 News.

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