News and Tribune

October 24, 2013

Former Camm prosecutors react to verdict

Keith Henderson says he was surprised, but Stan Faith was not

NEWS AND TRIBUNE
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NEW ALBANY — Shortly after a Boone County jury found David Camm not guilty of murder Thursday — his third murder trial in the deaths of his family — Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson held a brief news conference during a break in the William Clyde Gibson murder trial in New Albany.

Henderson prosecuted Camm in his second trial in 2006, when a jury found Camm guilty of killing his wife, Kim, and their two children, Brad and Jill. The verdict was overturned on appeal.

“I was surprised,” Henderson said at the opening of the news conference. “However, that’s the verdict of the jury, so we respect the jury system.”

When asked why the verdict in the third trial was different from the first two — where Camm was found guilty in both trials and the convictions were overturned on appeal — Henderson said, “Well, I wasn’t part of this trial. I wasn’t privy to the evidence that was presented, to the different challenges in this case. In fact, I never went up there [to Lebanon] one time ... so I can’t comment to the differences between my trial in 2006 and this trial in 2013.”

Henderson was also asked how the testimony of Charles Boney, who was convicted in the murders of Kim, Brad and Jill in 2006, affected Camm’s third trial.

“As far as if we’re referring to my trial in 2006 — Camm two — obviously [Boney] had a Fifth Amendment right to not testify, because if you recall, we tried him simultaneously with David Camm, so clearly he didn’t have to testify, nor did he. [It was] much different this time, but again, I wasn’t part of this one.

“In the case that I tried in 2006, I believe with the evidence presented in 2006, I believe that jury got it right. I don’t event think it was a close call for that jury in 2006. But again, a different case, different prosecutors, a different judge and a different time.”

He added that his thoughts are with the family of the victims.

“You know, our first thoughts go out to the family of Kim, Brad and Jill,” Henderson said. “In working with them in the years past — what kind of people they are, what they’ve had to endure and my first thought goes out to them. It’s just hard to put into words, what they have gone through and what they will continue to go through, so we’ll keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Henderson was also asked about the comment that he has been scrutinized over the investigation into Camm. The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the second conviction because of comments Henderson made in closing arguments that Camm had molested Jill, saying there was no evidence that connected Jill’s injuries to her father.

“I don’t know who said that and why it was said,” Henderson said. “I didn’t prosecute David Camm this time ... I’ll just leave it that I would make an assumption that prosecutors, at least knowing the reputation of [prosecutor] Mr. [Stanley] Levco and knowing him personally that he did a good job. I’m sure that [assistant prosecutor] Mr. [Todd] Meyer, knowing him in the past did a good job. It’s a different case, different evidence, different attorneys and at this point, we’ll just have to respect that verdict of the jury.”

The cost of the three trials against Camm — which have been estimated at about $4.5 million — have also been a source of controversy for Floyd County residents.

“I think that for the Floyd County taxpayers they are still recovering from this, or will have to recover for a long time,” Henderson said. “It was probably a historical amount of money that was spent on these trials combined and I haven’t heard the latest figure, but I’m sure we’re in the millions. So, I think that has to be looked at moving forward for the county and we’ll just have to work through it the best we can. Clearly there was a tremendous amount of money spent.”



NO SHOCK FOR FAITH

Stan Faith — who got a conviction which was later overturned when he prosecuted Camm’s first murder case — said he wasn’t surprised by the not guilty verdict Thursday in Boone County.

“I expected it, because it came back in 10 hours. It’d taken 30, 40 hours before, so it wasn’t a surprise to me,” he said. “As long as the constitution is upheld, I’m fine with it.”

Faith was criticized during the third trial for his handling of investigating the first trial. On Thursday, Camm’s defense attorney Richard Kammen told the media Faith was negligent, in that he hadn’t looked into Charles Boney, who was convicted of the murders in 2006, as a suspect during the first trial.

“There’s armchair quarterbacking. I do wish that we would have found out the name of [Charles] Boney in the first trial,” he said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t, and that’s my deepest regret on the whole thing. We followed the evidence the best we could and did the very best we could do.”

— Staff Writers Matt Koesters, Braden Lammers and Gary Popp contributed to this report.