News and Tribune

October 23, 2013

Jury wraps up first full day of Camm deliberations

Group given a set of 32 instructions to follow

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

LEBANON — Several evidence exhibits were requested Wednesday by the jury during the first full day of deliberations in the third murder trial of David Camm.

Special Judge Jonathan Dartt met with counsel on both sides to discuss requests by the jury, including to view Camm’s blood-stained T-shirt, but met little opposition from either the prosecution or defense.

Camm is accused of the triple murder of his wife Kim and their children Brad and Jill in the garage of their Georgetown home in September 2000.

However, defense attorney Stacy Uliana requested the court made sure the shirt was viewed in a controlled environment to prevent any kind of damage or contamination.

“It’s a question of how you get it to them without compromising the shirt,” Uliana said.

She suggested they display it either on a hanger or a mannequin and that jurors wear gloves while examining it.

Stanley Levco, special prosecutor, said he had no issue with that request.

Counsel on both sides also consented to allowing the jury to see all evidence without further confirmation from them, but Uliana asked that any bagged evidence remain unopened unless she and Levco were consulted first.

The jury wouldn’t have all the evidence delivered to the jury room, but Dartt said if they needed to see any bagged evidence, they could arrange for it to be brought to them.

The only denied request for the jury was a presentation board the prosecution showed during closing arguments. The board showed what they believe is the timeline of events on the night Camm’s wife and two children were killed.

Uliana said since the presentation was demonstrative and not actual evidence, the jury shouldn’t use it in their consideration for a verdict.

“Quite frankly, I think it’s accurate,” Uliana said.

The jury’s instructions also indicate that statements made by attorneys are not to be considered as evidence. The jury also asked the court why half of the alternate jurors weren’t excused from deliberations.

Levco said he didn’t have a problem with letting three of the alternates leave because he wasn’t sure they would be needed.

“If they want to be excused, I think that’s the humane thing to do,” Levco said.

Dartt said he’d rather have them available if they’re needed than not.

“I know I’m being overly cautious, but this is coming from a judge who’s lost ... three jurors at a time,” Dartt said. “I think my answer’s going to be ‘not at this time.’”

The jury recessed for the day at about 5 p.m.

Camm, once an Indiana State Trooper, has twice been convicted of the crimes. Both of those convictions were overturned on appeal.

Charles Boney — who testified in the current trial — was convicted of the murders in 2006 and is serving 225 years in prison.

 

As instructed

The jury was also given a set of 32 instructions to follow when considering their decisions on a verdict.

Included and hotly debated by the defense is Dartt’s inclusion of aiding and abetting in a crime. The instructions say the evidence for aiding will only be circumstantial, but can still enter into their decisions.

The instructions further define the charge, lining out that Camm must have intentionally aided or caused another party — in this case, Boney — to kill his wife and children. However, his presence at the crime or knowingly standing by as it happened, even with guilty knowledge, isn’t sufficient to convict him of the charge.

The instructions set the guidelines on the burden of proof that the jury must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Camm did or did not commit the crimes rather than relying on a preponderance of the evidence. The state is also not required to prove a motive in the crime.