Camm Trial - October 8, 2013: Defense: New Touch DNA evidence po - News, Weather & Sports

Camm Trial - October 8, 2013: Defense: New Touch DNA evidence points guilt away from Camm, toward Boney

David Camm David Camm

LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - Charles Boney's shed skin, dried sweat and saliva are not only new evidence he confronted David Camm's wife, son and daughter; they showed he was part of the struggle leading up to their murders, a Dutch forensic scientist told jurors Tuesday.

Testing revealed a high probability Camm's wife, Kim Camm, left her DNA on the sleeves of Boney's sweatshirt and that Boney's DNA is on the sleeves of her blouse, Richard Eikelenboom testified.

"That would support the hypothesis of a fight between the victim and the wearer of the (sweat)shirt," Eikelenboom said. "You could get the results just by her just grabbing the arm."

Eikelenboom is the linchpin witness to Camm's defense that Boney alone committed the murders September 28, 2000.  Boney roamed free for almost five years, until an FBI database linked his DNA to his Corrections-issued sweatshirt left at the scene. Investigators checked that database only after Camm's first conviction was overturned and prosecutors gathered evidence to retry him.

Touch DNA evidence also supported defense theories that Boney tried to remove or replace Kim Camm's underwear and that her fingernails scratched his face and neck, Eikelenboom confirmed. Further testing determined Boney either pushed or grabbed Camm's 5-year-old daughter, Jill.

"His DNA is on the lower right part of her shirt -- the chest and stomach area," Eikelenboom told the jury.

Touch DNA is a sample too small to yield a complete profile when analysts try to identify it, Camm's defense team explained. Eikelenboom and his wife own Independent Forensic Services, a Netherlands-based lab that specializes in Touch DNA analysis.

"We can get results where the (Indiana State Police) quantification process hasn't worked," Eikelenboom testified. "All results are reported, even if they are inconclusive."

Eikelenboom told jurors he conducted more than 350 tests of clothing recovered from Camm, Boney and the victims. At $500 per test, his lab fees top $175,000, not including his $200 hourly fee.

"Four months ago, you didn't know how much your fees were beyond $200,000," Special Prosecutor Stan Levco asked.

"That's correct," Eikelenboom said.

"So it could be $1 million," Levco said.

"I'm not sure," Eikelenboom responded.

Prosecutors fought to keep Eikelenboom's testimony out of Camm's third trial, arguing statistics gleaned from partial samples makes Touch DNA evidence unreliable.

"There's no question that DNA can be a valuable tool," Levco said after Tuesday's court session. "I'm just questioning its application in this case."

The case is now more than 13 years old. Eikelenboom acknowledged time can degrade DNA samples and that mishandling can cause cross contamination.

"You can cross-contaminate simply by folding the sweatshirt," he said. 

Investigators have admitted they put Boney's sweatshirt into the same bag as the body of Camm's son Bradley, 7, when clearing the crime scene. They found the body on top of the sweatshirt, next to his mother, on the floor of Camm's garage. Camm has claimed  he tried to revive his son using CPR and he got his daughter's blood on his shirt by brushing up against her when he removed his son from his wife's SUV.

Understanding Touch DNA's probabilities can get a bit complicated, Camm's team conceded.

"When we say we return a one in 1,975 on swabs from Kim's finger, we're saying that the likelihood of ‘donorship' from Charles Boney is 1,975 times greater than it coming from a random person in (Eikelenboom's) database," defense counsel Stacy Uliana told jurors.

Earlier, former Indiana State Police lab technician Lynn Scamahorn testified her tests excluded Boney. Eikelenboom re-ran her data through his lab's own computer program revealing that the clippings and swabs contained DNA from two males. He couldn't rule out Camm or Boney.

"We report all the results, and let the jury decide," Eikelenboom said.

Accordingly, a deposit on the left sleeve of Kim Camm's blouse is the strongest Touch DNA evidence linking Boney to the crimes. "There's a one in 17,000 chance that another Caucasian adult, besides Boney, would be included in that sample," Eikelenboom testified.

The numbers rise to one in 23 million, if that random person were to be African-American.

But prosecutors maintain Eikelenboom's share all the results approach is reason enough to doubt his findings.

Levco cited the scores an employee earned on a certification test administered in 2011. "Your coworker found two (forms of a DNA sequence) that were unexpected," he said.

"I don't ‘expect' anything," Eikelenboom said. We find something, we report it."

Camm's team called Levco's questions prejudicial and hearsay.

"What he is trying to infer is that they have failed tests they haven't failed," Uliana said afterward. "They have passed all their proficiency tests, so I don't know where he's going with this."

Prosecutors resume cross-examination Wednesday.

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