Camm Trial - October 10, 2013: Criminologists: Tunnel vision, de - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Camm Trial - October 10, 2013: Criminologists: Tunnel vision, delay on Boney were ‘catastrophic’ for investigation

David Camm David Camm

LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - DavidCamm's defense team is expected to rest Friday without calling him to the standto deny he murdered his wife and their two young children in the garage oftheir Georgetown home 13 years ago.

"David talked to the authorities as long as they wanted,even when it was clear he was going to be arrested," lead counsel RichardKammen told reporters following Thursday's proceedings. "David is not going totestify. And I don't think there's any need for him to."

Jurors spent Thursday hearing  two former homicide detectives-turned–instructors detail defense claims that tunnel vision and bias ledinvestigators to arrest Camm too quickly and to discount or dismiss evidencethat would have led them to another suspect; Charles Darnell Boney.

"A quick call is catastrophic," criminologist Damon Faysaid. "Your own biases can kick out other possible solutions."

Texas State University Professor Kim Rossmo maintains themost critical flaw was investigators failure to check a national database toidentify DNA left on a sweatshirt, until an appeals court overturned Camm'sfirst conviction and prosecutors sought to try him again five years after thecrimes.

"It would have pointed to another theory," Dr. Rossmotestified. "Very likely, it would have affected the evidence gathered."

The sweatshirt was underneath the body of Camm's Bradley, 7.Indiana's Department of Corrections had issued it when Boney was serving timefor several  felonies, including assaultson women.

Boney was convicted of the Camm family murders in 2006. He'sserving a 225-year sentence. He has told jurors his only connection to the caseis delivering the gun Camm used to commit the murders. Boney testified he heardCamm fire the fatal shots. The gun has never been recovered.

Dr. Rossmo told jurors his review indicated state policeinvestigators likely suffered from groupthink; a former Trooper (Camm) was accused of murdering  his family and pressure was on to developanswers quickly.

"It leads to selective information gathering, not searchingfor evidence that would contradict your theory," he said. "Nobody wants to tellthe Emperor he has no clothes."

In all three trials, prosecutors have maintained dots ofblood on Camm's T-shirt are gunshot spatter; possible only if he fired the shot that killed his daughter Jill, 5. 

But Dr. Rossmo argued investigators gave it undue weight, eventhough that determination came from photographer Rob Stites, an underling ofthe blood-pattern analyst whom the Floyd County Prosecutor  hired to view the crime scene.

"It's inconceivable to me that an untrained, inexperiencedperson to a triple-murder, " Dr. Rossmo said. Furthermore, a profitablebusiness relationship likely made Stites' supervisor, Rod Englert, reluctant tochallenge those findings.

 

"Do you really expect him to say ‘yeah, I sent this guy,but he's all wrong,'" Dr. Rossmo asked.

Fay told jurors his review of 35 hours interrogationsshowed investigators were allowing confirmation bias and a reluctance to admiterrors influence them to treat Boney more like a witness than a suspect.

 

"There are repeated references to ‘we don't think youkilled anybody," Fay said. "Boney was the gatekeeper, giving 5-6-800 wordanswers. He got more information from them than they got. Ridiculous is thekindest word I can say."

"How many times did they use the word ‘connection' inreference to Camm,"  Kammen asked. 

"I didn't try to count," Fay replied.

Dr. Rossmo argued Boney's criminal history, hisconflicting stories and his proximity to a market where Camm's wife shopped allshould have been warning signs.

"There were opportunities for him to encounter her(Camm's wife)," he explained.

Camm's alibi is that he was playing basketball at anearby church when the murders occurred. Fellow players have testified theynever saw him leave the gym early, nor notice he was missing.

Dr. Rossmo told jurors investigators erred by failing tointerview players individually and record their answers before deciding whetherto give more weight to their own belief that Camm had enough time to sneak out,murder his family and return without being detected.

Prosecutors countered that by showing the jury a videomeant to illustrate that the players could be telling the truth, as they seeit, without seeing the whole truth.

The video shows two groups, dressed in white and blackrespectively, each passing basketballs. The narrator asks viewers to count thenumber of passes by the white-clad players. It ends with the narrator askingwhether the viewers had spotted a man wearing a gorilla suit, walk into thescene and mug for the camera.

Dr. Rossmo seemed unmoved, telling jurors overall statisticsshow about half those who viewed the video spotted the gorilla, further supporting the defense theory Camm couldn'thave counted on distraction to escape undetected.

Fay and Dr. Rossmo both told jurors their examinations ofcrime scene photos poked holes in the theory Camm staged the murders to appearto be  sexual attack on his wife.

"I would have expected something that more obvious," Dr.Rossmo said.  "More of her clothes pushedup. Something that would have screamed to police, sex crime."

"Her pants were removed without violence," Fay testified."The shape of a woman's hips make it a little more difficult to remove them(after death)."

Prosecutors maintain the murders were a target crime. Faycalled them a random crime with spillover damage, referring to the deaths ofthe children.

"Bradley was underkill," Fay said, "He actually had a survivablewound."  Camm has insisted his son wasstill alive when he came upon the crime scene and that he tried to revive himwith CPR. The recovery attempt was also Camm's explanation for his daughter'sblood on his T-shirt.

Fay, Dr. Rossmo and Levco agreed the killer shot the Cammchildren to eliminate witnesses.

"They could have said, ‘my daddy shot my mother,'" Levcotold jurors.

"But they also could have given enough description to haveidentified Boney," Fay answered.

Prosecutors will resume questioning Fay on Friday. Oneanswer left Levco so surprised he asked Fay to clarify it only to hear Fayrepeat it twice.

The question: Do you believe investigators deliberatelytried to get Boney to false statements about David Camm?

"Yes," Fay told him.

"I'm gonna ask him again to make sure it wasn't somemiscommunication," Levco said, "But I thought I made it clear.  I tried to."

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