News and Tribune

October 11, 2013

Defense rests in Camm case

Attorneys pin family’s murder solely on Charles Boney

BY GORDON BOYD

LEBANON — It was only a TV, used-car dealer Carl Colvin told jurors.

So he couldn’t understand why Charles Boney was that angry with his wife, and sweating so profusely that he needed a towel to wipe his brow.

It was early 2003. The two were on their way to Boney’s house to pick up a flat screen Boney had planned to sell to a mutual acquaintance, Colvin said.

“He [Boney] was talking about ‘killing [her], saying she don’t know who she’s [messing] with.”

But then, Colvin said, Boney dropped the line that sounded like a frustrated braggart running his mouth, at least at the time.

“I’ve got three bodies on my conscience, and one more’s not gonna matter.”

Two years later, Boney was under arrest — charged with murdering the wife of a former Indiana State Police trooper, and their two young children Sept. 28, 2000 in the garage of their Georgetown home.

David Camm, the ex-trooper who retired from the force months before the murder, was facing a second trial after an appeals court had overturned his conviction for the same crime.

And Colvin still didn’t want to come forward.

‘“Where I’m from, you don’t ask questions like that,” he said.

But he would testify against Boney — who was convicted and sentenced to 225 years in prison — in 2005. And Colvin would be the last witness for Camm in his third murder trial, before the defense rested its case Friday afternoon.

Almost all of the words from three of the final four defense witnesses were about Boney.

A pen pal told jurors that Boney was soft, caring and gentle when the two talked by phone only hours after the murders, and when he came to visit her family in Indianapolis one day later.

“Everybody was happy to see him,” Karen Ancil testified.

The get-together was their first opportunity to see each other in person, after beginning their correspondence while Boney was still in prison.

“So he was talking on the phone to your 8-year-old and acting normal?” defense counsel Stacy Uliana asked.

“Yes,” Ancil said.

By estimates from medical examiners and crime scene investigators, Camm’s wife Kimberly, 7-year-old son Bradley, and 5-year-old daughter Jill, had been dead less than seven hours.

“Shocking,” Ancil said, her eyes watering as she described for jurors how she learned of Boney’s arrest 3 1/2 half years later.

Boney has admitted to driving to the Camms’ home the night of the murders, and that he heard Camm fire the fatal shots. But he testified that he did nothing more than deliver the second of two untraceable guns that Camm asked him to find, not knowing why Camm wanted it.

Prosecutors have suggested Camm conspired with Boney to kill his family, though they’ve not charged Camm with conspiracy. A conspiracy charge against Camm in his's second murder trial in 2006 was dropped by the trial judge upon request by his defense team.

On Friday morning, detective-turned-criminology lecturer Damon Fay testified that investigators were so anxious to confirm such a connection that he believes they supplied Boney with false statements to further incriminate Camm.

“They’re basically allowing [Boney] to remain a witness rather than seeing whether he would fall into being a suspect or principal,” Fay said.

Investigators became aware of Boney only after an FBI database tied his DNA to that left on a sweatshirt found underneath Brad’s body. Investigators also found a palm-print on the side of Kim Camm’s Ford Bronco. Earlier this week, two specialists in “touch DNA” analysis reported a “high probability” that Boney left skin cells or sweat on Kim’s sweater-blouse and underwear, and on Jill’s shirt.

“You leave no room for even the possibility that [Camm] could be guilty?” Special Prosecutor Stan Levco asked.

“I see no possibility,” Fay said.

On cross-examination, Fay conceded that the Camm’s case is the first in which he’s testified as an expert in interrogation techniques. He stood by claims that Boney left his sweatshirt behind in the rush to escape the murder scene. But he agreed it was possible Camm planted it to lead investigators to Boney.

Kim’s favorite diamond earrings and necklace were missing when the family collected clothing for her funeral, Camm’s sister Julie Blankenbaker told the jury Friday.

“They’ve never turned up,” she said.

Defense attorneys offered her testimony to bolster claims that Camm’s wife and daughter may have interrupted a burglary, and to refute prosecutors’ assertions that Camm was eager to collect insurance money.

“Actually, it was my idea,” Blankenbaker said, explaining why she and her brother called his wife’s employer the morning after the murders. Kim’s bosses needed to hear what happened, Blankenbaker said, but her brother became annoyed when his wife’s bosses began discussing her benefits package.

“He never said the word ‘insurance,’” Blankenbaker said. “He was making faces at me, saying, ‘I don’t want to talk about that right now.’”

A registered nurse, Blankenbaker said Camm told her he “didn’t do it right” when she asked about his efforts to revive his son through CPR. Prosecutors asked whether Camm was referring to his decision to interrupt the attempted rescue to call for help.

“He forgot to pinch Brad’s nose [during mouth-to-mouth],” Blankenbaker replied.

She told jurors that she didn’t know what to tell him Camm, or to any family member, upon learning of the murders. She was floored when she found her brother in her parents’ living room.

“He was caressing his hand, I saw blood on it, “Blankenbaker testified. “I asked him if he wanted to wash it off.

“But he said, ‘it’s from Brad. It’s all I’ve got left of him.’”

The trial will resume Tuesday and jury deliberations could begin next week.

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