Camm trial 9/5: Blood analyst disputes Camm's murder defense

David Camm
David Camm
Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)
Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)
Charles Boney
Charles Boney

LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - David Camm may have suffered a major setback in his third murder trial, now that Indiana State Police have served up their most experienced technician in stain pattern analysis to dispute his claim that he got blood on his t-shirt by trying to save his son.

Late Thursday afternoon, Sgt. Dean Marks told jurors that expirated blood, coughed up or spewed, could explain the size and spacing of eight blood dots. But DNA analysis reveals the blood to belongs to Camm's daughter Jill, age 5, rather than his son Bradley, age 7.

"In order to force blood out of the mouth, nose or a (gunshot) wound, the person would have to be alive," Marks testified.

An autopsy found no blood in Bradley Camm's mouth. During testimony last week medical examiner Dr. Tracey Corey determined that Bradley died within minutes of being shot.

Marks told the jury his findings came after analyzed more than 140 photographs of the blood patterns, and cut-out sections from the shirt itself. Marks said he received the material in October 2001, three months before Camm's first trial. His conclusions bolster the most critical evidence used to charge Camm with killing his wife, Kim, and their children on September 28, 2000.

In 2006, Charles Darnell Boney, a serial felon, was convicted of the killings and is serving a 225-year sentence. But prosecutors maintain that Jill Camm's blood pattern proves that her father shot her at close range.

"You have a better chance for back-spatter with a bullet striking the skull," Marks said. "This is consistent with gunshot spatter."

Marks' testimony came after jurors viewed a videotape of the Indiana State Police interrogation from October 1, 2000 that preceded Camm's arrest. The interrogation concludes with Camm, on his knees, sobbing, after using a training mannequin to illustrate his attempts to perform CPR.

"It (blood) came out of his mouth and gets on the shirt," Camm told Det. Robert 'Mickey' Neal. "I'm telling you the truth, it happened exactly like I said. I did not do this!"

The videotape interrogation lasted more than two hours. Unlike Camm's previous interview three days earlier, Neal and Det. Darrell Gibson by reading him his rights.

For almost forty-five minutes, jurors heard Camm recount that he had found his wife's and children's bodies in the garage upon returning home from playing basketball at his church.  Neal and Gibson asked that Camm explain discrepancies in time frames. But Camm's lawyers objected when questions turned to his wife's sleeping habits; they weren't included in the transcripts provided.

"They are going to ask why," attorney Stacey Uliana told Judge Jon Dartt after he excused the jury. "We need to hear the rest of it because I have no doubt there are more errors."

Camm's attorneys maintained that jurors might have heard material that he been ordered removed from the videotape because it referenced evidence that appellate courts cited as improper when they overturned Camm's two prior convictions.

When jurors returned, they heard Dartt explain the tape/transcript conflict as a technical glitch. When the tape was restarted, the jurors heard the tone turn from conversation to confrontation.

"You are trying to blame me for killing my children (sic) and my daughter, "Camm said.  "I did not do this! I did not do this! I did not do this."

"Did you try to clean up," Gibson asked.

"No, no, no," Camm responded.  "I didn't clean up s***, guys! That is your suspect! I am not your suspect."

Under defense questioning, Neal admitted that he and Gibson had lied when they told Camm that investigators had found blood on his jacket, that information conflicted as to when he left the church basketball game and that witnesses had seen him wearing the gray sweatshirt found under his son's body. DNA linked the sweatshirt to Boney almost three years after Camm's first conviction. Such lies, Neal testified, are considered an acceptable strategy to "get at the truth" when interrogating a prime suspect.

"There was a high probability he (Camm) was going to be arrested," Neal said.

But Camm's attorneys argue that the case against him relies solely on the spatter theory - coming not with Dean Marks, but from an administrator who they claim misrepresented his training and expertise; crime scene reconstructionist Robert Stites.

"That's why you got up in the middle of that interrogation, to go consult with him," attorney Stacey Uliana told Neal.

"He (Stites) said 90-95 percent (sure)," Neal responded.

"You said, that's not good enough, I need 100 percent," Uliana said.

"At some point, he informed us he was 100 percent certain," Neal answered.

Neal told jurors he was unaware that the Camm murders were Stites' first homicide case, that Stites hadn't been trained in blood spatter analysis, nor that he Stites never had testified in a criminal case.

"And you never were told that spatter analysis is more subjective than science?" Uliana asked.

"No," Neal responded.

When jurors questioned, Neal told them he didn't know who determined that Camm's wife and children likely were killed at 9:30 p.m., after Camm says he left the church basketball game ; nor who revised the time of deaths to 7:30 p.m., shortly after Kim Camm and the children would have arrived home from Bradley's swim practice. Neal also explained investigators may not check out a suspect's alibi thoroughly before arresting him or her.

"Usually you do," said Neal. "But sometimes the evidence overrides that."

Friday's testimony will begin with defense questions for Sgt. Marks.

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