Camm trial 10/11: Defense rests, pinning family's murders solely - News, Weather & Sports

Camm trial 10/11: Defense rests, pinning family's murders solely on Boney

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David Camm David Camm
Charles Boney Charles Boney
Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives) Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)
The garage at the Camm family home - the scene of the murders. The garage at the Camm family home - the scene of the murders.

LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - It was only a TV, used-car dealer Carl Colvin told jurors. So he couldn't understand why Charles Boney was that angry with his wife, and sweating so profusely that he needed a towel to wipe his brow.

It was early 2003. Colvin said the two were on their way to Boney's house to pick up a flatscreen Boney had planned to sell to a mutual acquaintance.  

"He (Boney) was talking about ‘killing that (expletive), saying she don't know who she's (expletive) with," said Colvin.

But then, Colvin said Boney dropped the line that sounded like a frustrated braggart running his mouth, at least at the time.

"I've got three bodies on my conscience, and one more's not gonna matter," testified Colvin about Boney's statement.

Two years later, Boney was under arrest; charged with murdering the wife of a former Indiana state trooper and their two young children on September 28, 2000.  The former trooper, David Camm, was facing a second trial after an appeals court had overturned his conviction for the same crime. And Colvin still didn't want to come forward.  

"Where I'm from, you don't ask questions like that," said Colvin.

But Colvin would testify against Boney in 2005. Boney was convicted and sentenced to 225 years. Before the defense rested its case, Colvin would also be the last witness for Camm in his third murder trial.

Prosecutors questioned why Colvin talked to Camm's defenders before notifying police. Colvin blamed a friend for telling them about him; a friend married to the ex-wife of one of Camm's brothers.

"We've had a few words about that," Colvin told jurors.

Almost all of the words from three of the final four defense witnesses were about Boney. A pen-pal told jurors that Boney was soft, caring and gentle when the two talked by phone only hours after the murders, and when he came to visit her family in Indianapolis one day later.

"Everybody was happy to see him," Karen Ancel testified.

The get-together was their first opportunity to see each other in person after beginning their correspondence while Boney was still in prison.

"So he was talking on the phone to your eight-year-old and acting normal?" defense counsel Stacy Uliana asked.

"Yes," Ancel said. 

By estimates from medical examiners and crime scene investigators, Camm's wife Kimberly, 35, son Bradley, 7, and daughter Jill, 5, had been dead less than seven hours.

"Shocking," said Ancel, her eyes watering as she described for jurors how she learned of Boney's arrest, three-and-one half years later.

It was not the man she thought she knew.

Boney has admitted driving to Camm's Georgetown home the night of the murders and said he heard Camm fire the fatal shots. However, Boney testified that he did nothing more than deliver the second of two untraceable guns that Camm asked him to find, not knowing why Camm wanted it.

Prosecutors have suggested Camm conspired with Boney to kill his family, though they've not charged Camm with conspiracy.

Friday morning, Damon Fay, a detective-turned-criminology lecturer, testified that investigators were so anxious to confirm such a connection that he believes they supplied Boney false statements to further incriminate Camm.

"They're basically allowing (Boney) to remain a witness rather than seeing whether he would fall into being a suspect or principal," Fay said.

Investigators became aware of Boney in February only after an FBI database tied his DNA to that left on a sweatshirt found underneath of the body of Camm's son. Investigators also found a palm-print on the side of Kim Camm's Ford Bronco.  Earlier this week, two specialists in Touch DNA analysis reported a high probability that Boney had left skin cells or sweat on Kim Camm's sweater-blouse and underwear, and on Jill Camm's shirt.

"You leave no room for even the possibility that (Camm) could be guilty?" Special prosecutor Stan Levco asked.

"I see no possibility," said Fay.

Rather, Fay testified Boney acted alone and the murders are an example of a "disorganized crime" or "ambush" that began either as a robbery or what lead counsel Richard Kammen termed a "non-contact sex offense."

Court rulings have forbidden Camm's attorneys from spelling out Boney's prior offenses, which include a series of attacks on women, indicative of a foot or shoe fetish. But questions offered jurors hints.

"Assuming Mr. Boney took a souvenir, say socks, would have knowing his identity in a timely fashion have been useful?" asked Kammen.

When her body was found Kim Camm's pants had been removed and her socks were missing. Prosecutors have alleged that Camm staged his wife's body so that the crime would appear to be a sexual attack to blame Boney. It's a theory Fay wasn't buying.

"I believe she removed the pants herself, possibly at gunpoint."

On cross-examination, Fay conceded that the Camm's case is the first in which he's testified as an expert in interrogation techniques. He stood by claims that Boney left his sweatshirt behind in the rush to escape the murder scene, but agreed it was possible Camm planted it to lead investigators to Boney.

Julie Blankenbaker, Camm's sister, told the jury when time came for family to collect clothing for her funeral that Kim Camm's favorite diamond earrings and necklace were missing.

"They've never turned up," Blankenbaker said.

Defense attorneys offered her testimony to bolster claims that Camm's wife and daughter may have interrupted a burglary and to repute prosecutors' assertions that Camm was eager to collect insurance money.

"Actually, it was my idea," said Blankenbaker, as she explained why she and her brother called his wife's employer the morning after the murders. Kim's bosses needed to hear what happened, Blankenbaker said, but her brother became annoyed when his wife's bosses began discussing her benefits package.

"He never said the word insurance," Blankenbaker said. "He was making faces at me, saying, ‘I don't want to talk about that right now.'"

Blankenbaker, a registered nurse, said Camm told her he "didn't do it right" when she asked about his efforts to revive Bradley through CPR. Prosecutors asked Blankenbaker whether Camm was referring to his decision to interrupt the attempted rescue to call for help.

"He forgot to pinch Brad's nose (during mouth-to-mouth)," Blankenbaker replied.

Blankenbaker told jurors that she didn't know what to tell him Camm, or to any family member, upon learning of the murders. She was floored when she found her brother in her parents' living room.

"He was caressing his hand, I saw blood on it," Blankenbaker testified. "I asked him if he wanted to wash it off. But he said, ‘it's from Brad. It's all I've got left of him.'"

The trial is in recess until Tuesday, October 15 when the prosecution begins calling rebuttal witnesses. 

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