January 18th, 2006 - Day 8: Blood Spatter And Lies

By James Zambroski

January 18th - Day 8
Blood Spatter and Lies

The man who says blood spatter on David Camm's T-shirt proves he slaughtered his family five years ago appears to have been caught in a lie during testimony at Camm's trial in Warrick County Wednesday.

Robert Stites, a Portland, Oregon blood spatter analyst, says he found at least four drops of blood on Camm's shirt that is blow back from Jill Camm when she was shot to death on September 28, 2000. Stites testified that four drops is the absolute minimum to constitute a genuine blood spatter pattern.

Previous analysis identified eight drops of blood, but pre-trial proceedings dropped that number to four.

Stites alleges that the drops of blood are high-impact velocity spatter and that means Camm was four feet or less away from Jill Camm when she was fatally shot in the head while sitting in the back seat of her mother's Bronco.

But under a withering cross examination by Camm defense lawyer Stacey Uliana, Stites seemed to change testimony he gave about his background during Camm's first trial in January, 2002.

Stites said under oath on Wednesday that he had never testified as a blood spatter expert prior to Camm's first trial. But after being shown a copy of his testimony from that proceeding, Stites acknowledged that he testified then that he had been a blood spatter witness in three previous trials.

Uliana said later that it appeared that Stites committed perjury during that trial.

"It's perjury at the time you lie in a court," Uliana told reporters at the conclusion of Wednesday's testimony. "And then once you discover it's a lie, then you have evidence to back it up."

Stites, for his part, claimed Uliana was confused about what he meant, saying the transcript indicated he was speaking about other forensic testimony involving blood during his testimony in 2002.

Stites also acknowledged that the majority of his training in blood spatter analysis comes from his association with Rod Englert, also from Portland, who is expected to testify later in this case.

Defense attorneys are expected to attack Stites' credentials, saying that he has no university or college degree in any field of science.

Evidence entered into the case Wednesday indicates that Stites has a bachelor's degree in economics. He also worked briefly as a police officer, serving two years on a 7-member force.

P.S. Since I'm out of the office for the next several weeks, I can't access my WAVE 3 email account. If you wanna reach me while I'm in Boonville, send email to: zamman1953@yahoo.com. Later.