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September 11, 2013

Expert in Camm trial says murder scene was staged

Prosecution expert says blood patterns help tell the story

LEBANON — An analyst prosecutors recognize as their lead specialist in blood patterns said the size of the stains and the direction of blood flow show that David Camm’s wife, Kimberly, and their 5-year-old daughter, Jill, were both shot at close range and that Camm himself had to be the shooter.

Rod Englert’s investigative company has been involved in the investigation since September 29, 2000, one day after the bodies of Kim, Jill and 7-year-old son Bradley were found inside the garage of their Georgetown home.

“I looked at all the evidence that was possible to look at,” Englert told jurors hearing Camm’s third trial Wednesday.

Englert was not on the scene to view the bodies before investigators removed them, but he determined that “it was a posed and staged scene” after viewing photographs of Camm’s wife and son on the garage floor.

“The position of her [Kim Camm’s hair] is abnormal,” Englert testified. “She had to have been laying on her side, but she was moved onto her back.”

Englert based his conclusion, in part, after finding an abnormal mark on her left index finger, that wouldn’t be there had she fallen backward after being shot.

Englert referred jurors to a photograph which he maintains shows “a multitude of stains going toward the back corner of the garage.”

Englert determined the bullet trajectory through reverse engineering. Investigators have testified that testing shows the recovered bullet from the windshield area of Kim Camm’s Bronco is the shot killed her. Based upon that, and the entry and exit wounds, Englert concluded Kim Camm was near the open right passenger door and was leaning forward when shot.

“She was shot, then moved and then her pants were removed,” Englert testified.

The proof, prosecutors maintain, is in the blood patterns found on David Camm’s gym shoes. Englert described a blood stain on the outside of Camm’s left shoe as “projected,” a continuation of one of the energized stains that ricocheted off of the garage floor.

“This stain shows evidence of having been wiped away,” Englert told the jury.  

A stain on the inside of the left shoe is a transfer stain that also may have been wiped.

“The shoe was in the zone of the blowback of the entry wound to the head of Mrs. Camm,” Englert said. “A ricochet off of the floor.”

The stains’ size, color and speed of drying time led Englert to conclude that Camm had to be within three to four feet of his wife when she was shot.

Englert asserted that high-velocity blood spatter also explains the dots of blood from Jill Camm found on David Camm’s T-shirt.

“These stains are embedded into the weave,” said Englert. “If I were to wipe a bloody hand across the shirt, it [the blood stain] would stay on the surface.”

Englert drew defense objections when he conceded that he has no way to measure blood spatter’s exact speed, only the distance it travels to create certain stain patterns. Special Judge Jon Dartt overruled the objection, but cautioned Englert to “testify to only what you do know.”

Jill Camm was still buckled into the right rear bench seat of the Bronco when her body was found. Englert said blood found on the Bronco’s headliner, rollbar and back of the right front passenger seat also shows a spatter pattern. That evidence leads him to conclude that her shooter was no further that four feet away, and the blood evidence points to David Camm.

Camm’s defense team has called Englert’s findings “junk science,” protesting Wednesday’s testimony and Tuesday’s demonstrations involving spray bottles and stage blood.

After the lunch break, jurors will view Kim Camm’s Ford Bronco and may question Englert while doing so.

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

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