Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)
The garage at the Camm home - the scene of the murders.
The t-shirt Camm was wearing the night of the murders.
LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - A university-trained forensic scientist with almost a half-century's experience in blood pattern analysis has offered perhaps the strongest words yet in David Camm's defense to charges that he murdered his wife and their two young children more than thirteen years ago.
"Nothing that I found was inconsistent with what David Camm said he did after returning to find his family," consultant Bart Epstein told jurors Wednesday morning.
Epstein first examined the blood evidence before Camm's first trial in 2002. He was unable to view the sweatshirt, since linked via DNA to serial felon Charles Darnell Boney, convicted of the Camm murders in 2006.
Prosecutor maintain that several millimeter-sized dots on Camm's T-shirt are proof that Camm pulled the trigger, and was so close to his 5-year-daughter Jill that blood from her head wound created back-spatter. Jill's body was found on the back bench seat of Kim Camm's Ford Bronco. Kim, and 7-year-old son Bradley, were found on the garage floor of their Georgetown, IN home.
But Epstein told jurors that spatter stains inside the Bronco refute the state's theory.
"There are at least 40 stains in a two-by-six-inch area on the rollbar," Epstein testified. "Ninety percent of them are a mixture of fatty material, blood and tissue."
DNA testing has confirmed the blood is Jill's. Most stains are larger, about 2 to 4 millimeters, much larger than the dots on Camm's shirt, Epstein testified
"Larger particles travel further; the smaller particles drop off," Epstein said. "It's like throwing a golf ball and a ping pong ball with the same force. The denser golf-ball goes further."
"If the shirt stains came from there (gun-shot spatter), where are the larger particles?" Epstein asked. "You don't see them there."
The blood-stain pattern on Camm's shirt also appears to be more linear, Epstein testified. In contrast, the stains on the rollbar are more scattered and random.
As did defense blood-pattern analyst Barie Goetz, Epstein performed his own experiments to determine how Jill's blood wound up on her father's t-shirt. Camm has insisted that he must have brushed up against her blood while removing Bradley from the Bronco to attempt CPR.
Epstein was unable to reproduce a similar pattern, but he suggested his own shortcoming may be to blame. Epstein said he failed to repeat his testing as blood dried on the wig he substituted for Jill's hair.
Earlier experiments, testing times for blood to clot, separate and congeal, convinced Epstein that Camm could not have killed his family shortly after returning home from a church basketball game about 9:30PM, minutes before calling the Indiana State Police Sellersburg post to report finding the bodies.
Epstein told jurors poured his own blood, and that of his assistants, on Camm's garage floor. He said heavy clotting was obvious in about 30 to 40 minutes and the blood began congealing in about 50 minutes.
"It would take at least an hour-and-a-half to see what investigators saw (in photos depicting the crime scene)," Epstein concluded.
If wholly accurate, that means their killer would have shot Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm about 8 p.m., a time Camm maintains he was playing basketball at Georgetown Community Church four miles away. Prosecutors have insisted that Camm may have left the gym to commit the murders, only to return to establish an alibi.
Prosecution blood-pattern analysts have testified that blood on Camm's shoe and sock also are proof of gunshot spatter; namely, that he shot his wife at such close range that her hand or body projected her blood onto him. But Epstein testified that his own examination supports the theories of defense blood-pattern analyst Barie Goetz; that the stains were transferred from blood deposited on Camm's shoelaces, which may have dipped in his wife's blood as he was performing CPR on his son.
"These stains show serum separation," Epstein testified. "Serum couldn't occur at the time of the murders. It would have to happen afterward."
"If these were the result of spatter, you would see a lot more staining."
Prosecutors are to cross-examine Epstein Wednesday afternoon.
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