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October 22, 2013

Both sides of Camm murder trial expecting positive verdict

Camm’s uncle concerned with jury instruction;

LEBANON — Lawyers and relatives on either side of David Camm’s trial for killing his wife and two children in September 2000 believe justice will prevail for their side.

Stacy Uliana, who has been on Camm’s defense team for 11 years, was confident there would be a quick acquittal in his third trial.

“I feel like we have the truth on our side, and I hope that it came through,” Uliana said Tuesday afternoon as she stood outside the south doors of the Boone County Courthouse. “I feel good, knowing that all the evidence is on our side.”

“Common sense is on our side,” she added.

Uliana thought the jury could return with a verdict today.

“I would like to point out that the weakness of the state’s case was really brought out today,” she said.

Although the defense had been perturbed when the state successfully had Special Judge Jonathan Dartt include an “aiding and abetting” clause in the jury’s final instructions, Uliana said, “all the state’s trying to do is lessen the burden” of proof on the jury.

It was as though the state was telling the jury, “if you think Dave probably did it, that’s OK, that’s fine,” she said.

“I hope it doesn’t weigh on [the jury],” she said. “I hope they’re smarter than that.”

Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer assisted special prosecutor Stan Levco, and gave the initial closing argument.

He felt his closing argument “was well-received.”

“I made the points I wanted to make,” Meyer said. “The idea was for me to try to lay out the facts, and then Mr. Levco was going to follow up and rebut anything the defense had to say.”

CAMM FAMILY REACTION

Donald Camm, David Camm’s brother, also thought the jury could come back with an acquittal today.

“We can’t eat, we can’t sleep; we just want the jury to do the right thing, which means that Dave goes home,” he said.

“I think in this case a quick verdict is a good verdict for us,” he said. “Usually it’s the other way around, but in this case, because we’ve put on such an overwhelming case, a quick verdict will be good for us, and I think we’ll get that tomorrow, [or] maybe Thursday,” he said Tuesday.

Leland Lockhart, one of David Camm’s uncles, said, “I guess I’m feeling a little more positive this time than the other two times,” although “you never know what a jury’s going to do.”

“Of course, I’m biased toward David because I know he’s innocent, so I see things from my point of view,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart thought Uliana “did a great job in presenting what I see as the truth; I’m hoping that the jury also sees that.”

Another of Camm’s uncles is concerned about the aiding and abetting instruction.

“That’s worrisome,” said Sam Lockhart. “I don’t think that the judge letting that in was good judgment at all.”

It was as if the prosecution had reversed course as it neared the end of a long, tortuous journey.

“All along they have tried to prove that David was the shooter, and then at the last minute, the throw that in to maybe kind of cover themselves.”

The prosecution had “absolutely no evidence” that his nephew aided anyone, nor was he charged with such, Lockhart said.

“It’s the same thing they did in the second trial with the issue about Jill [Camm’s daughter]. They didn’t charge David with anything against Jill, but they used it in closing arguments.”

The state had alleged that Camm killed his family because he had molested his daughter and was trying to cover up that crime. No evidence had been presented, however, and that guilty verdict was overturned on appeal.

Camm’s first conviction in 2002 for the murder of Kim, Brad and Jill Camm also was overturned.

While there was a chance the jury could convict Camm of aiding and abetting the deaths of his family, “That is actually reversible error,” Lockhart said. “If he is found guilty, there’s no way a higher court won’t reverse that.”

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