By MAUREEN HAYDEN
CNHI Statehouse Bureau
Another long week in the third murder trial of David Camm ended Friday with evidence of frayed nerves and an allegation that the prosecutor in the first trial 11 years ago deliberately withheld information that would have helped Camm’s defense.
Outside the presence of the Boone County jury, longtime criminal defense attorney Michael McDaniel said former Floyd County Prosecutor Stan Faith lied to him when he inquired about DNA evidence on a prison-issued sweatshirt found at the crime scene.
McDaniel said Faith mislead him into believing there was no way to trace either the DNA found on the sweatshirt, or the nickname “Backbone” that was written on sweatshirt collar, through databases that law enforcement keeps on convicts. Only later did McDaniel learn those things weren’t true, he said.
McDaniel said he had no reason at the time to doubt the-then prosecutor.
“We were adversaries, but we weren’t enemies,” McDaniel said of Faith.
Faith couldn’t be reached for comment Friday, but he’s earlier denied withholding evidence from McDaniel.
The sweatshirt has played a key role in the Camm case and is one of the reasons why Camm is back on trial, for the third time, accused of killing his wife and two young children. He was first charged 13 years ago, after his wife, Kimberly, and their two children, Bradley, 7, and Jill, 5, were found shot to death in the garage of their Georgetown home. Camm’s first two convictions were overturned on appeal. His third trial was moved to Boone County, to avoid a jury pool tainted by pretrial publicity.
After Camm’s first conviction in 2002, investigators linked the DNA and nickname on the sweatshirt to Charles Boney, who in 2006 was found guilty of conspiring with Camm to murder Camm’s family.
The defense wants to put McDaniel in front of the jury as part of its strategy to show that Faith and Indiana State Police investigators rushed to judgment in charging Camm in the murders and intentionally hid evidence that could have cleared him.
But Special Judge Jon Dartt, presiding over a trial that began in mid-August, ruled that the jury would not hear from McDaniel.
“What the prosecutor did or did not do is not relevant in this case,” Dartt told lead defense attorney Richard Kammen.
Dartt cut short protests from Kammen, who insisted he had the “right to show the whole history of the case.”
“We are not going to retry trial one. We’re here for trial three. That’s what we’re going to do. That’s what we have been doing,” Dartt said, with a flash of anger, before adding: “My patience is wearing thin.”
McDaniel was allowed to testify without the jury in the courtroom to allow Camm’s defense team to make what’s called an “offer of proof” related to a deposition of an Indiana State Police DNA analyst who was involved in the early investigation of the crime. That analyst has said she felt pressured to disregard the importance of the sweatshirt later linked to Boney.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys still trying to locate a former girlfriend of Boney’s, Karen Ancil, who testified in Camm’s second trial that Boney called her the night of the murders. Kammen said repeated efforts to get Ancil to court have proved futile. He said she hasn’t responded to subpoenas sent to her last known address, nor responded to telephone calls.
Kammen requested the court’s assistance in locating Ancil. Dartt agreed to issue a court order instructing her to appear in front of him, and requested the prosecution team help the defense locate Ancil this weekend.
The trial is expected to continue through October.