By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY —
For the third time, Frank and Janice Renn will hear a verdict in a case they’ve been fighting for 13 years. A jury will again pass judgment on the man they believe killed their daughter and grandchildren.
As the trial of David Camm, the former Indiana State Police trooper accused of killing Kimberly Camm and their two young children, Brad and Jill, in their Georgetown home in 2000, comes to a close, the Renns hope the jury sides with them on what they think is just.
But they said no matter which way the final judgment falls after closing arguments start today, they won’t ever have real closure.
“It’s just hard,” Janice said. “We’re living it all over again each time. It’s still with you all the time. After a while, it heals a little like a sore and you tear the scab off, then it hurts all over again.
“I haven’t looked at the pictures [of the scene], but just hearing them describe the wounds and everything just tears at your heart.”
Though pleased with the speed of the trial and the upcoming decision on whether to find Camm guilty, Frank said it’s difficult to hear everything again and thus, relive it.
“[The trials] are all pretty well the same,” Frank said. “This one had some new people come in versus the last two, but it’s bringing the memories back again. You think you’re getting over it and it comes right back over you again.”
Frank said he firmly believes Camm is responsible for the deaths of Kim and their children, Jill and Brad, based on Camm’s testimony in the first trial. He said the evidence in this trial hasn’t swayed his opinion.
“We felt during the first trial, we think David told too many stories and you can see he’s trying to change his story to fit the evidence,” Frank said. “That tells me right there that he has some guilt.”
New testimony, experts and different takes on the evidence have swayed public opinion to either side of what the jury will say next week. But as the years have gone on with the trial, Janice said she still believes Camm is guilty. Camm has twice been found guilty of the murders, only to have the convictions overturned by higher courts. The family also saw another man — Charles Boney — convicted for the murders in 2006. He’s serving 225 years in prison for the crimes.
With this trial serving as the final appeal in the case, Janice said she’ll have to learn to live with whatever decision comes down.
“You just don’t know what [the jury is] thinking,” Janice said. “I haven’t changed my opinion, but we just have to wait and see. Whatever they come up with, we’ll just have to take it.”
Frank said the community in Floyd County and even in Lebanon — where the trial has been moved because of media coverage over the years — have been supportive of them and reached out to help. He said that’s something he’s always appreciated.
But as the verdict comes in, he’s still convinced the jury will side with his family.
“Sometimes, you think maybe in the back of your mind somewhere [that they won’t], but it hasn’t bothered us that much,” Frank said. “I’m expecting a guilty verdict, but it’s out of our hands. It’s in God’s hands as far as I’m concerned.”
Of course, there is another family in the courtroom equally convinced that David Camm is innocent, as his father noted in a family profile at the beginning of the trial in August.
“I know they’re doing everything that they can and with the new evidence, I feel a confidence that Dave’s going to win,” Donald Camm said. “Yet, we have felt confident before and so going at it a third time even knowing what we do, I can’t inside of me build up this little bit of hope. My hope is so thin”
Although his hope at times wavers, Donald continues to maintain his son’s innocence no matter what the cost.
“We as the Camm family and the Lockharts, we know Dave is innocent and we’re with him come hell and high water, bankruptcy, the whole works,” he said. “Whatever comes.”