By GORDON BOYD
After a lengthy delay in the David Camm trial, jurors on Tuesday heard Charles Boney’s ex-girlfriend claim that he was bleeding from a scraped knee, breathing heavily and hyperactive when he returned to his mother’s home in New Albany just past midnight September 29, 2000.
“He opened up a jersey and showed me a weapon,” Mala Singh Mattingly testified at the trial, which started back up from Thursday. “I told him to put the gun away — carry it out of the house. I was scared.”
Boney complied, Mattingly said. But she claimed she’d had no clue why he was so upset, until she joined him and his mother to watch the morning newscasts on television several hours later. The top story: the murders of the wife and two young children of David Camm.
Defense objections prevented Mattingly from telling jurors what Boney and his mother said when the coverage prompted an argument. But Mattingly told them it was enough to prompt her to leave the room, and end her summer romance.
When Boney reached her again in Louisville some two weeks later, Mattingly said, “I told him that this was one relationship that didn’t need to happen,” Mattingly testified.
Boney was charged with the Camm family murders more than three-and-a-half years later, but only after David Camm had been convicted, had his conviction overturned, and was facing retrial.
The defense team now argues that Mattingly provides not only grounds for a mistrial for Camm’s third trial, but for dismissal with prejudice such that Camm is never be tried again.
“Her written statements are devastating to Charles Boney, and exculpatory [clearing] for David Camm,” defense attorney Richard Kammen told Special Judge Jon Dartt. The statement includes a reference that Boney showed Mattingly a photo of a woman he called “Kim,” possibly Camm’s wife. Kammen claims that prosecutors for Camm’s second trial knew of those statements, but withheld them deliberately.
“Had we known of this, we would have done many things differently,” Kammen said.
“There’s no way to fix it. The only normal way is to grant a mistrial.”
Judge Dartt said he would take Kammen’s motion “under advisement” and offer to allow Camm’s team to recall Boney to explain Mattingly’s testimony.
Boney has been a key witness in Camm’s third trial, claiming that he delivered an untraceable handgun to Camm’s Georgetown home, and was there to hear Camm shoot his wife, their 7-year-old son, Bradley, and 5-year-old daughter, Jill.
Tuesday, Mattingly told jurors that Boney had told her “he was going to meet a buddy” when he left his mother’s home about 6 p.m. on the night of the murders.
He was wearing cargo pants, a sweatshirt, and carrying a backpack, Mattingly said. But she never clarified, nor did defense attorneys or prosecutors ask, the shirt’s color.
Boney became a suspect, and Mattingly a “person of interest,” when DNA testing linked them to a gray sweatshirt found underneath Bradley Camm’s body. Investigators found Mattingly’s blood in three spots.
Mattingly first told jurors she could have spilled it while testing her blood sugar; she’s diabetic and insulin-dependent.
But later, she conceded that she had told detectives she might have worn the shirt during her menstrual cycle, or while Boney was performing a sex act. Boney has disputed both of those explanations.
Camm’s attorneys maintain that Mattingly has changed her stories repeatedly, from her first statements, through testimony in Boney’s trial and Camm’s second trial, to Camm’s third trial.
Mattingly had told jurors she’d never seen Boney handle a gun until his midnight return following the Camm murders. But later, she revealed she’d told investigators that Boney had asked her to buy an untraceable gun for him only hours before the crimes.
“I honestly don’t know why,” Mattingly answered, when a juror asked her to clarify what prompted Boney’s request.
She also was unable to tell jurors whether her diabetes regimen included blood thinners, nor whether her condition was Type 1 or 2.
“I’m just insulin dependent,” Mattingly said.
Boney has testified that Camm had asked to buy two untraceable guns, and that he [Boney] had acquired both from a co-worker, Ernie Nugent.
But Tuesday, Nugent testified that he sold only one gun to Boney, two or three months after the Camm murders.
Indiana State Police Detective Darrell Gibson testified that he’d considered Camm a friend, and not a suspect, when Camm sat for his first interview in the hours following the killings.
But two days later, Gibson said, Camm made several statements that he considered inappropriate while providing samples to medical investigators tasked with determining whether Camm’s wife had been sexually assaulted.
Among such statements; an off-color joke while a female nurse was collecting samples of his pubic hair. “He (Camm) later said ‘this is what you get when you kill your wife and kids’ and ‘Kim is looking down from Heaven and shaking her head (because he has to do this),’” Gibson told the jury.
Camm also made a statement that could be considered threatening, “though I didn’t take it as a threat,” Gibson testified.
“He (Camm) pointed at me, and at another detective, and said ‘It’s on you’ if this comes back to me,” Gibson told the jury.
Nine days after his arrest, Camm asked Gibson to come to his cell for a man-to-man talk.
“I thought it was more to find out what we know,” Gibson testified.
Camm asked for a promise to keep the investigation open, offered a list of possible suspects, and inquired about “high velocity” blood spatter, and suggested that timeline for his family’s murders “had to be all wrong,” Gibson said.
“He said the blood [trail] from his wife was too long, for them to be killed at 9:30.” That timeframe presumed that Camm had killed his family after returning home from playing basketball at his church, moments before reporting the crime.
“He also asked how long it takes spatter to dry,” Gibson testified. “When I told him twenty seconds or less, he [Camm] said he most have gotten home right after it happened.”
The defense insists Camm was confused, having assumed that Gibson was referencing blood lingering in air rather than drying once it strikes a surface.
Prosecutors maintain that tiny blood dots on Camm’s T-shirt and shoes prove he’s the killer; standing so close to his wife and daughter while firing, that some of their blood “misted” into his clothing.
Testimony regarding spatter prompted an early recess Tuesday afternoon. Jurors had heard from blood-pattern specialist and crime scene analyst Tom Bevel for about twenty minutes, when Camm’s team objected to a series of photographs.
Jurors then spent almost an hour outside court, while defense attorneys tried to exclude what they claim is a new theory that lacks supporting evidence.
“Mr. Bevel has seen blood where nobody has seen it,” Kammen claimed. “It’s all just ‘my guess.’ They don’t do it scientifically, they just come in and spot all this stuff.”
Bevel conceded that he’d not tested spots in the Camm’s Ford Bronco to verify whether they were blood. Prosecutors insisted that Bevel need not identify whose blood it might be, only that a spot is “consistent with it being blood.” Camm’s team argued that witnesses presented as “experts” bear a higher burden of proof.
Judge Dartt called “time” after a photo-by-photo review stretched past 3:30 p.m.
“I promised you I wouldn’t waste your time,” he told jurors as they filed back into court. “We still have some things to go through.”
Dartt will review case law before Bevel’s testimony resumes Wednesday morning.
Prosecutors also have asked him to determine whether they can compel Camm to reveal whether he has a “cross tattoo” on one of his shoulders. Last week, Jeremy Bullock testified that Camm had made a “jailhouse confession” to killing his family, after commissioning the indelible artwork.
“We’d like them to see Boney’s and Bullock’s tattoos, too,” Kammen said.
“There’s a lot more they need to hear, from Mr. Boney.”
— This article was produced as a partnership between the News and Tribune and WAVE 3 News.