LEBANON, IN(WAVE) - Prosecutors have restedtheir case in Indiana's third effort to convict David Camm for the murders ofhis wife and their two young children almost 13 years ago.
Ironically,Camm himself was their last witness. The court compelled him to show jurors thetattoo a former inmate claimed he'd commissioned, following his firstconviction in 2002. The artist, convicted murderer Jeremy Bullock, hastestified that Camm confessed the killings to him as Bullock was completing thedesign.
Bullock tookhis claim to authorities after an appellate court overturned Camm's firstconviction in 2004. He testified in Camm's second trial and has been out onprobation since late last year. Prosecutors persuaded Bullock's sentencingjudge to reduce his prison term.
Camm'sshow-without-tell ended a day in which he lost a bid for a mistrial and heard alead investigator concede that a state police detective had removed evidencewithout permission. His team alsofailed, again, to persuade Special Judge Jon Dartt to allow jurors to hear thefull criminal history of the other man convicted of his family's murders;Charles Darnell Boney.
Judge Dartthad been considering the mistrial motion for two days. Camm's attorneys hadargued the prosecutors in Camm's second trial had withheld bombshell writtenstatements that Boney's ex- girlfriend, Mala Singh Mattingly, had submitted todetectives who questioned her shortly after DNA test results had linked her andBoney to a sweatshirt found at the murder scene.
"The onlyremedy is to dismiss with prejudice (not bring charges again)," Lead CounselRichard Kammen told the court. "We'renot blaming these guys (the current prosecution team), but had we known aboutit, we certainly would have questioned Mr. Boney differently."
In thestatement, Mattingly wrote Boney had shown her a photo of a woman he called"Kim" in August 2000, one month before the murders. Camm's attorneys haveinsisted that Boney is the lone killer, and that he may have targeted orstalked Camm's wife Kimberly.
ButMattingly's statement does not indicate the picture was of Kimberly Camm. In testimony Tuesday, Mattingly denied beingable to recognize who was pictured, when detectives showed her Camm familyphotos earlier. She also insisted she's never been to, nor even seen, theCamm's Georgetown home.
"Mistrial isan extreme remedy," Judge Dartt told Camm's lawyers Thursday. "The state is ultimately responsible, butthere is an appropriate remedy."
The defensemay re-call Mattingly and Boney to explain the statements, but that cannot leadto questioning Boney about his convictions for violence against women, Darttruled.
LaterThursday, former Indiana State Police Det. Gary Gilbert, conceded a cousin ofBoney's had removed Camm's wife's cellphone from an evidence locker shortlyafter Camm was charged with the Camms' murders.
The evidencelocker's checkout log shows that the cousin, ISP Det. Myron Wilkerson, returnedthe phone two months later, Gilbert testified.
"He(Wilkerson) told me that he wanted to see whether he could get any informationfrom the phone, and that he couldn't," Gilbert testified under defensecross-examination. "I told him it wasimproper."
Gilbertwanted to Kim Camm's phone checked for fingerprints as part of the reevaluationof evidence prior to Camm's second trial. Technicians were unable to recoverany fingerprints from the phone, he testified.
Jurors wereunable to find out more about three calls listed on Kim Camm's cellrecords; one, at 7:50 p.m. the night ofthe murders and two more the day after.
Gilbert toldthem he didn't know whether the calls were incoming or outgoing, and thatdetectives made no effort to contact or to learn the names of the customerstied to the numbers listed.
Boney hasmaintained he delivered the untraceable gun to Camm's house, as Camm requested,at about 7 p.m. the night Camm's familywas murdered. He also has testified that Kim Camm and the children arrived homein her Ford Bronco only minutes later, and that he heard Camm shoot themshortly thereafter.
Inquestioning, Gilbert told defense counsel Richard Kammen the 7:50 p.m.cellphone call was out-going. If accurate, it could throw Boney's timetable andaccount of the shootings into question.
Camm's teammaintains that Wilkerson also was a key player in turning Boney from suspect towitness, in the days after DNA testing linked Boney to the sweatshirt.
"Wilkersonis telling him (Boney) don't let your mother go to her grave with you on deathrow," Kammen asked, after playing a recording of part of an earlyinterrogation.
Gilbertconfirmed the account, but answered 'no' when Kammen asked whether he'dencouraged Wilkerson to tell Boney that he could be facing the death penalty.
LateThursday afternoon, ISP lab technician Melissa Meyers testified she examinedfingernail clippings of Camm's wife, and 5-year-old daughter Jill, utilizingtesting that identifies only male DNA.
Clippingsfrom Jill Camm's left hand yielded DNA that could have come from her father, orher 7-year-old brother Bradley, Meyers testified. The right-hand clippings revealed DNA fromtwo males, whom she couldn't identify with certainty.
"They couldhave come from David Camm or Charles Boney," prosecutor Todd Meyer stated.
"Or theycould have come from any man," defense co-counsel Stacy Uliana asked later.
Meyersconceded that both were possible.
Testing ofKim Camm's clipping yielded similar results.
The defensehad fought efforts to force Camm to bare the tattoo Bullock inked, arguing thatto do so would be humiliating and photographs would suffice. Judge Darttallowed Camm to wear a T-shirt, but denied defense motions to show jurorsphotos of another of Camm's prison tattoos, bearing his children's names.
The incidentprompted a conference when Kammen told jurors he'd like to make photosavailable. Afterward, Dartt's irritationwas visible and audible as he issued jurors instructions prior to their fourday break.