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August 26, 2013

Camm trial: Boy likely staring at barrel of gun when killed

Medical examiners offer testimony

— Medical examiners say autopsy results show no ‘anatomical’ signs that Kim Camm was raped or sexually assaulted, but that her seven-year-old son Bradley likely was staring down the barrel of the gun when he, his mother, and his sister Jill, 5, were shot to death in the garage of their Georgetown home on September 28, 2000.

That testimony came Monday morning in the third trial of former Indiana State Trooper David Camm, charged with all three murders. His two previous convictions have been overturned on appeal.

Utilizing photographs and taken at the crime scene and during autopsies, Kentucky’s Chief Medical Examiner, Tracey Corey, and forensic pathologist Donna Stewart, both told the Boone County jury that each victim likely survived only minutes, perhaps  seconds, after being shot.

“He (Brad) was looking at the muzzle of the gun,” Dr. Corey testified, explaining that injuries to both sides of his face are consistent with a shot fired at close range.”

The single gunshot struck the boy in the left shoulder and exited his upper back, severing the spine at the junction of his neck and thorax, Dr. Corey explained.

“He would not have been unconscious, but he would have been paralyzed, he couldn’t have moved his legs.”

A blood trail, identified as Brad Camm’s, indicates that he was in the rear cargo area of his mother’s sport utility vehicle when he was shot. His body, and that of his mother, were found on the garage floor next to her sport utility vehicle.

In opening arguments, defense attorneys have claimed David Camm removed his son from the vehicle and tried to perform CPR. But under jurors’ questioning, Dr. Corey testified that an autopsy could not determine whether Camm, nor anybody else, had done so.

The autopsy found evidence of blood in Jill Camm’s mouth, but not in Brad Camm’s,  Dr. Corey told the jury.

What jurors weren’t allowed to hear: speculation that caused bruises, or broken capillaries on Jill Camm’s chest, may indicate that an attacker had restrained her while attempting to sexually molest her.

“Blunt-force trauma in the genital region doesn’t necessarily go with those chest injuries,” defense attorney Richard Kammen inquired, outside the presence of the jury.

“But blunt-force trauma could be caused by sexual assault,” prosecutor Todd Meyer asked.

“Again, (the chest injuries) could be caused by molestation, but I can’t say they had anything to do with whether sexual assault occurred, and I’ve never said that,” Corey responded.

Prosecutors offered molestation as a possible motive in one of Camm’s earlier trials. It was grounds for appeal to overturn the conviction.

Special Judge Jon Dartt ruled that prosecutors may reference the girl’s chest injuries, but could not ask Dr. Corey whether they could have been inflicted during a sexual assault.

Check for ongoing updates in the David Camm trial.

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

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