Camm trial 8/27: Camm called investigator, wife's employer befor - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Camm trial 8/27: Camm called investigator, wife's employer before arrest

Updated: Aug 27, 2013 09:00 PM EDT
David Camm David Camm
Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives) Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)
ISP investigators at the Camm house on September 29, 2000. ISP investigators at the Camm house on September 29, 2000.
Sgt. Sam Sarkisian Sgt. Sam Sarkisian

LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - Only hours before he was arrested and charged with murdering his wife and their two young children, David Camm, a former Indiana state trooper, was proclaiming his innocence in a phone call to an Indiana State Police detective whom he considered a friend.

"Everybody knows I didn't do it, I don't want anybody thinking that," Camm told crime scene technician Sgt. Sam Sarkisian.

Sarkisian not only was a veteran crime investigating the murders, he had conducted background check that qualified Camm to join the state police force.

The call made him "uncomfortable," Sarkisian told the Boone County jury hearing Camm's third murder trial. "I don't like misleading people. There was a lot going on. It was a high-stress situation."

Tuesday, jurors heard a tape of that conversation recorded at the ISP Sellersburg post three days after the bodies of Kim, 35, Bradley, 7, and Jill Camm, 5, were found in the garage of their home in Georgetown, IN on the night of September 28, 2000.

"She (Kim) has never done anything to anybody," Camm told Sarkisian. "I think they were after me….somebody either saw her, and got in the car ahead of time, or they followed her there."

Prosecutors maintain that Camm was trying to manipulate the investigation by steering suspicion away from himself. The defense insists Camm was a distraught and grieving husband and father who simply wanted to know where the investigation stood.

"I told him we had to play it down the middle," Sarkisian told the jury. "I had to do my job."

Initially, Sarkisian was to photograph the crime scene and gather evidence in the hours after the bodies were discovered. Tuesday, jurors saw more than two dozen photos, some grisly by necessity, to detail the wounds Camm's family suffered, their clothing, and how their bodies were found. Several photos show Kim Camm lying in a pool of blood. Others show Bradley on the garage floor and an autopsy table. Daughter Jill's body was shown slumped over in the back seat of the family's Ford Bronco.

"I don't even look at those pictures now," said Frank Renn, Kim Camm's father. "I prefer to remember them (his family) as they were."

Camm's legal team argues that Sarkisian's techniques, and others' conduct, offer proof that the investigation was sloppy.

 "I don't know whose decision it was (not to take fingerprints in the house)," Sarkisian told defense attorney Richard Kammen. 

Sarkisian also denied he was responsible for pinpointing and detailing the exact location of a bloody footprint he photographed in the garage. He did not say who bore that burden.

"But you know it wasn't you," Kammen stated.

Kammen's approach to questioning Sarkisian drew not only prosecutors' objections, but a rebuke from, and terse exchange with, Judge Jon Dartt.

"You've gone beyond leading questions," Dartt told Kammen. "I have heard many speeches before the questions come."

"Maybe it sounded like a statement, but there was a question there," Kammen responded. "Your Honor, with all due respect, you are wrong."

"You have a way of talking over me, even when I make a ruling," Judge Dartt said. "This is my courtroom, that's the way it works."

Jurors heard none of this. Judge Dartt called them into recess prior to conference.

With prior approval, jurors were able to ask Sarkisian about an open box of ammunition found in a cabinet at the crime scene. Sarkisian confirmed the shells were the same caliber (.380) as bullets recovered from the crime scene, but not from the same manufacturer.

They also learned that investigators from the Floyd County Prosecutors' Office chose to use the same body bag move Bradley Camm and a gray sweatshirt found under him. Camm's lawyers claim that decision contaminated evidence. DNA tied the sweatshirt to Charles Darnell Boney, who was convicted of the Camm's murders in 2006. 

Prosecutors allege that Camm may have been motivated to murder his family for money; specifically, insurance and investments. Tuesday afternoon, they offered testimony from a senior executive and the personnel director for Kim Camm's employer, Aegon Investments of Louisville. Camm talked to both the morning after the murders.

"He (Camm) was calm and rational," executive Rudy Gernert testified. "In context, it was a little bit odd."

Camm asked that Aegon secure his wife's office, voicemail and email accounts.

"The fact that he told me that he was a former state trooper probably raised the credibility of the request," Genert said.

Gernert testified she directed Sharon Long, a vice president of Human Resources, to contact Camm about an hour later.

"(Camm) asked me to take care of some things," Long said.

Camm's wife carried supplemental life insurance policies on herself, and on Brad and Jill, Long testified. Adding company insurance, stock options, bonuses, 401K and pension benefits, Kim Camm's Aegon package was worth more than $480,000.

"But David Camm has collected none of that," Kammen stated. Long confirmed that Camm's wife's stock options weren't transferrable, that her father inherited her 401K, and that Floyd County collected some of the insurance policies.

"They (prosecutors) want to go down the same road as the previous two trials and let the jury speculate," Kammen told the court. "He's gonna kill his wife in 2000 so that he can get some pension benefits two years later? Is that what this is about?"

Prosecutors are expected to call several of Kim Camm's co-workers to testify Wednesday. Her mother, Janice Renn, has been waiting to take the stand since last Friday.

"She's eager to get to it," Frank Renn said. "She's been out of court. It probably was best that she was this morning."

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