News and Tribune

Police & Fire News

August 12, 2013

Camm case a long nightmare for both sides

13 years after crime, third trial is about to begin

INDIANAPOLIS —

Frank and Janice Renn lost a daughter and their grandchildren in a burst of violence on an autumn day in 2000. In the 13 years since, each day has been filled with the same sense of loss as the one before.

“It’s like that movie Groundhog Day, where he keeps waking up to the same thing every day,” Frank Renn said.

David Camm could say the same thing. The former Indiana state trooper — and the Renns’ son-in-law before the slayings — has spent a majority of the past 13 years behind bars following two convictions in the deaths of his wife and children, even though courts threw out both verdicts.

A third trial will begin Monday to determine whether Camm is guilty of shooting and killing Kimberly Camm, his 7-year-old son Bradley and 5-year-old daughter Jill at the Camms’ Southern Indiana home. There’s a new prosecutor, a different judge and a new trial venue.

The 49-year-old Camm insists he was wrongly convicted, and this trial is another chance to clear his name. For the Renns, this is another shot at closure.

“What does it take to get this over with?” Frank Renn asked.

The Camm slayings are one of Indiana’s longest-running murder cases, following a tangled legal path riddled with missing murder weapons, allegations of affairs and child abuse, the emergence of a second suspect and a prosecutor’s removal over a book deal.

For years, a debate has raged over whether Camm is a villain or a victim, with both sides taking to websites, books and national television to argue their points. A petition on change.org seeking to have him freed has collected hundreds of signatures.

Prosecutors have moved the trial to Lebanon, Ind. — more than 100 miles from the Louisville, Ky., suburbs where the slayings occurred — in hopes of finding jurors who haven’t already made up their minds about Camm’s guilt or innocence. But in the digital era, that’s a tall order.

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