News and Tribune

October 22, 2013

Jury deliberating Camm’s fate

Closing arguments focus on evidence and alibis in triple murder trial

By ROD ROSE
The Lebanon Reporter

LEBANON — Jurors could decide Wednesday whether David Camm is guilty of killing his family.

The case was given to the jury at 4:38 p.m. Tuesday, after more than 10 weeks of testimony from experts on DNA and blood splatter, as well as Charles Boney — who was convicted of the killings in a separate trial — and the presentation of complex and often technical evidence.

Camm has twice been convicted of shooting to death his wife Kim, son Brad, and daughter Jill, in the garage of their Georgetown home Sept. 28, 2000. Both convictions were overturned on appeal.

Because of extensive publicity in Southern Indiana and Louisville media, Camm’s third trial was moved to Lebanon.

Stacy Uliana, who has been on Camm’s defense team for 11 years, told the jury in her closing argument that the state was guilty of “a rush to judgment.”

Closing arguments began shortly after 9 a.m. in a Boone Circuit Courtroom so packed with spectators that nearly 20 folding chairs were brought in so that everyone could be seated.

It is a matter of connecting the dots to convict Camm of murder, said Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer, who assisted Special Prosecutor Stan Levco in representing the state’s case.

Over nearly 90 minutes, Meyer meticulously connected those dots. The first dot was Camm’s alleged staging of the scene in the family’s garage, Meyer said.

Kim Camm was found on her back, with her legs straight and her pants thrown next to her body.

“That was an unnatural position for Kim to be in,” Meyer said. “There is clear and direct evidence she was moved.”

Brad was shot in the left shoulder, while facing his killer. The bullet pierced his spine, causing a mortal wound, Meyer said.

That was another dot: “Would he be looking at a complete stranger?” Meyer said.

A sweatshirt was found tucked under Brad’s body, according to Meyer. That sweatshirt could only have been found in that position if Camm had placed it there, he said.

Gunshot residue found on Camm’s clothing was another dot, Meyer said, as were “1,950 brass shavings” found in Camm’s gym shorts. The shavings came from a handgun being loaded and fired, Meyer told the jury, and were in Camm’s clothing because he stuffed the gun into the waistband and pocket of the shorts — leaving no doubt at all that Camm had shot his family.

“Three sets of investigators, three independent prosecutors, all came to the same conclusion,” Meyer said.

Uliana began her rebuttal at 11:22 a.m. and spoke until 1:15 p.m.

Camm’s alibi at all three trials has been that he was playing basketball with a dozen of his friends at the time his family was killed.

“You can’t be talking to Sam Jolly [one of the players] and killing your family at the same time,” Uliana said.

Other players saw Camm and Jolly talking for 10 to 15 minutes, she said. Jeff Lockhart, another player, was teasing Camm. All saw Camm as he sat out one of the several basketball games the group would play when they got together.

“They [those witnesses] were never listened to [in the trial],” Uliana said.

Indiana State Police and prosecutors focused on Camm as the killer early in their investigation, and over 13 years continued to ignore solid evidence that Camm could not have gone to his home, murder his family and return to the church gym where the games were being played.

The state was arguing that Camm had arranged to meet Charles Boney — who was convicted in 2008 of killing Kim, Brad and Jill — at the family’s home to receive a gun that Boney purchased.

“The story that Boney is selling us is a bunch of crap,” Uliana said. “My God, it’s a federal offense for Charles Boney as a convicted felon to have a gun.”

But Camm could not possibly have controlled the timing of residents and others coming and going in the neighborhood where he lived, Uliana argued.

“There are one hundred ways this planned alibi could have gone wrong,” she said.

“What if Boney is late?” she said. “What if Boney brings a friend? What if Boney brings that bag of guns he claimed to have?”

“It makes no sense,” Uliana said.

Uliana repeatedly referred to Boney, who testified against Camm, as “cold and calculating,” casting him as a manipulative cynic who played games with investigators, and with the jury.

“He tells everybody what he is doing, but no one listens,” she said.

“I agree there were mistakes made” in the first investigation, Levco said in his rebuttal. “Overall, this was a thorough investigation,” he added.

Both sides presented testimony from DNA experts, but “it’s obvious our side is correct,” Levco said.

Testimony by the state’s witnesses “remained consistent and logical,” he said.

During an interview with detectives, Camm had started a sentence, “Forty-five minutes prior to ...” and stopped for seven seconds before continuing. “Forty-five minutes prior to what?” Levco said, asserting that Camm’s hesitation came as he “desperately” thought of something else to say, because he had been about to accidentally implicate himself.

The defense had spent an “obscene” amount of money to get Camm acquitted, Levco said.

He punched up that assertion with a quote from Bob Dylan’s song “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).”

The lines were, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears obscenity, who really cares.”

One of the items the jurors will be considering is an “aiding and abetting” instruction given to them, which would allow for a conviction even if jurors don’t believe Camm personally committed the murders.

“I hope it doesn’t weigh on [the jury],” she said. “I hope they’re smarter than that.”

Jurors are expected to deliberate until only 5 p.m. as long as deliberations last. After 5 p.m., they will be sequestered at a hotel.