A three-dimensional, precisely measured visual re-creation indicates that the body of David Camm’s wife was not moved after she was shot, and that whomever killed their children was standing outside her Ford Bronco when he opened fire, a crime scene reconstruction specialist told jurors Tuesday.
Camm’s third murder trial marks the first time that Canadian engineer Eugenio Liscio has used a laser scanner and computer simulations to depict victims and a suspect in a U.S. criminal case. But prosecutors allege that Liscio’s choices of models and scenarios seems designed to pin the murders squarely and solely on Charles Darnell Boney, the serial felon tied to the crimes after Camm’s first conviction was overturned. Boney is serving a 225-year sentence for the killings.
“Do you think [the computer model representing] Kim looks white,” Special Prosecutor Stan Levco asked.
“Actually, she looks Indian,” Liscio replied. “But the shooter definitely is Caucasian. It’s a [computer-simulated] model that I use regularly.”
In Liscio’s depiction, the “shooter” appears to have darker skin than his victims, wearing long pants with a dark, striped short-sleeved shirt. Boney has conceded he wore similar garb on Sept. 28, 2000 — the night of the murders. By contrast, Camm was wearing a T-shirt, shorts, gym shoes and socks when police responded to his Georgetown home after he reported discovering the bodies.
Liscio’s scenarios also depict the shooter’s left hand near a spot on the Bronco where investigators found a palm print, later identified as Boney’s.
“He [the ‘shooter’ model] looks darker, because of the shading in the ‘default’ setting of the lighting,” Liscio testified. He later told jurors that depicting the shooter as bracing himself against the side of the Bronco “is a very natural thing to do” given what bullet trajectories tell him about where the shooter likely stood.
“You believe he shot with his right hand ... nobody suggested you do that,” Levco asked.
“It’s just to demonstrate one possible scenario,” Liscio said. “I just had to get the message across for the reconstruction.”
Liscio’s reconstruction incorporated crime scene photographs and measurements as overlays to the panoramic images his “Faro Focus 3D” laser scanner created. His findings conflict with conclusions that prosecutors’ specialists have drawn concerning the killings of Camm’s 5-year-old daughter Jill and 7-year-old son Bradley.
‘The angle makes it awkward” for the shooter to have been inside the Bronco, Liscio told jurors. Trajectories show that the shooter inflicted Jill Camm’s head wound, by pointing the weapon downward, at more than a 30-degree angle. That scenario also means its more likely that the gun was in the killer’s right hand, Liscio added.
Liscio attended the “re-creation” that crime scene specialist Barie Goetz devised using a substitute Bronco and live re-enactors to depict Camm’s version of events. Both technicians omitted a backpack, found near Jill Camm’s body, in their scenarios.
“It wasn’t relevant to my reconstruction,” Liscio told prosecutors. Otherwise, he would have expected to find a hole or some other sign that the object impacting the bullet’s paths or the killer’s shooting position.
The bullet’s path and angle of entry indicate the gun muzzle was at least two feet away from Kim Camm when her killer opened fire, and that the shooter was at least six feet tall, Liscio concluded. Boney and David Camm both are six-footers.
Kim Camm’s feet offer Liscio “key evidence” that her pants were removed before she was shot. “They’re ten inches underneath the Bronco, “ Liscio testified. “Either you’d have to be underneath the Bronco to remove them, or shift her legs bout a 90-degree angle [from where her body was found].”
Her feet bore signs of injury. But Liscio told jurors that it’s not likely they were hurt when she fell after being shot. Nor, he said, do hairs caught in a button on her pants suggest her killer moved her body or staged the crime scene. Such testimony contradicts the conclusions of the prosecution’s star witness, reconstruction specialist Rod Englert.
“Can I say I am ‘absolutely’ certain [about these scenarios]? No, I wasn’t there when it happened,” Liscio told prosecutors. “We can only base it on the evidence, and on the reconstruction.”
Earlier, convicted murderer Michael West told jurors he was certain that fellow murderer Jeremy Bullock was lying to them, and to jurors at Camm’s second trial, when he claimed that Camm had confessed the killings during a tattoo session at the Indiana State Penitentiary.
“[Bullock] hated cops, and was going to do whatever he could to get out,” West said. “He was looking for a deal.”
Bullock had testified that he waited almost two years to reveal the confession, coming forward after an appellate court overturned Camm’s first conviction in 2004. A judge shortened Bullock’s sentenced following Camm’s second conviction, and he was released from prison on probation last year.
But prosecutors maintain West also has reason to lie; he’s on his last appeal, with no way to pay for an attorney. His sentence is life without parole, plus twenty years.
Aren’t you hoping that these lawyers [Camm’s defense team] will take on your case,” prosecutor Todd Meyer asked.
Amid defense objections, West held fast to claims that he believes Camm to be innocent, and that testifying on his behalf was “doing the right thing.”
Former technician Kyle Brewer said he hoped he wasn’t wrong when he testified in Camm’s second trial that he found blood on the telephone in Camm’s kitchen.
Brewer was among the civilian specialists who New Albany Police assigned to help Indiana State Police investigators gather information at the crime scene. He told jurors that a bloody-stained shoe print most likely was discovered near the overhead door on the right side of the garage.
Last week, Goetz testified that he couldn’t determine where the print was, but that it probably came off of Camm’s right shoe, stepping in blood that had collected on his wife’s pants. Goetz theorize that Camm may have left the print while running for help.
Testimony from a security firm representative appeared to bolster Camm’s claim that he never left the gym at Georgetown Community Church the night of the murders, until all the weekly basketball games were completed.
Sonitrol’s Mark Sturgill told jurors that company logs indicate that whoever ‘disarmed’ the gym’s security alarm at 6:59 p.m., did so using the security code for Pastor Leland Lockhart, Camm’s uncle. The same security code ‘re-armed’ the motion sensitive’ alarm at 9:22 p.m., Sturgill testified.
Once the alarm was disarmed, however, Camm or others would have been free to come and go with no record of a departure or re-entry, Sturgill told prosecutors.
Six days after the murders, Sonitrol reset its clocks ahead one minute, to match the time reference it uses at its home office in Lexington, Ky., Sturgill said. “We use the [Lexington] police department time checks, he explained.
At most, the time discrepancy would be no more than 59 seconds, Sturgill told defense counsel Richard Kammen.
Sturgill’s testimony was an effort to counter prosecutors’ that the gap likely was longer; possibly four minutes, between the time recorded for the ‘re-arming’ of the gym’s security alarm, and Camm’s call to the ISP’s Sellersburg post to report his family’s murders. That longer time frame would have allowed Camm more opportunity to commit the crimes and preserve his alibi.
— This article was produced as a partnership between the News and Tribune and WAVE 3 News.