Camm trial 8/28: Database could have tied Boney to murders at time of crime, not years later
LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - The FBI's national crime database had Charles Boney's DNA on file almost three years before the wife and two children of former Indiana state trooper David Camm were shot to death in the garage of their Georgetown, IN home on September 28, 2000. But investigators didn't compile the crime scene DNA file until more than a year after the murders.
Indiana State Police DNA and blood specialist Lynn Scamahorn didn't confirm Boney's identity through CODIS (Combined DNA Indexing System) until Valentine's Day 2005, more than four years after the crimes.
"I was not given the profile until then," Scamahorn told jurors Wednesday during Camm's second retrial for murder. "I would have run it immediately."
CODIS delivered the results in two hours. Scamahorn said Boney's DNA was a match to DNA from a gray sweatshirt found on the garage floor underneath the body of 7-year-old son, Bradley Camm.
"So we would have known about Boney before (Camm's) first trial," defense attorney Stacey Uliana told the jury Wednesday.
Camm was convicted of his family's murders in 2002, but Indiana's Court of Appeals overturned it two years later. Camm was charged again in 2005 and convicted again in 2006. However, an appellate court also overturned the second conviction.
Boney was arrested weeks after CODIS established the DNA link. He was convicted of the Camm murders in 2006 and sentenced to 225 years in prison.
Camm's attorneys maintain that the delay in testing offers more proof that investigators not only mishandled evidence or failed to gather it thoroughly. They also say some of Camm's friends and former co-workers in law enforcement rushed to judgment.
"You told (Camm's) second jury there was nothing inappropriate about David's behavior that night," Uliana inquired of ISP Det. Josh Banet.
Banet acknowledged that was true.
"So between 2005 and 2013, you changed your story," Uliana said.
Earlier, Banet had testified that state police dispatched him to the Camm home shortly after Camm had reported the crimes. He found Camm punching the sides of his pickup truck.
"I ran past David into the garage, and saw Brad on the garage floor," Banet told the jury. "I checked for a pulse, didn't find any. Saw Jill (Camm, age 5) in the Bronco. Another officer checked (Camm's wife's) Kim.
Banet and other officers searched Camm's house finding no other victims or a suspect. Back outside, Banet said Camm embraced him. What bothered him, Banet told the jury, is what Camm didn't say.
"He just kept asking 'why my kids? Why my kids?'" Banet said. "I never heard 'why my wife?' just the kids."
While Camm was an ISP trooper, Banet testified the two had been road partners. Banet said he considered Camm a mentor. On the night of the murders as he sat in his patrol car securing the scene, Banet recalled what he said to a fellow trooper.
"I looked over at my Sergeant and said 'he did it, didn't he?'" Banet testified.
Under defense questioning, Banet acknowledged that the Camm murders were his first homicide case. He also conceded that people have different ways to grieve.
Banet's testimony followed Scamahorn's, which revealed that the gray sweatshirt contained Boney's DNA, as well DNA from his then-girlfriend Mala Singh Mattingly, and Kim and Bradley Camm.
Similar testing revealed Camm's sperm was on his wife's underwear and her blood on his socks and his left gym shoe. The t-shirt Camm wore that night had DNA from his son Bradley on the right sleeve and from daughter Jill near its bottom front. Other samples tested are insufficient to determine whether Camm left DNA on the sweatshirt or his wife's sweater.
"It's not unusual to find a spouse's DNA on someone's clothes," Scamahorn said.
Under defense questioning, Scamahorn acknowledge the underwear was soiled and emitted an odor. Camm's legal team maintains that the pair recovered was not the underwear his wife had worn that day; suggesting that her killer not only undressed, but redressed her.
What is clear: "(David) Camm is the largest case I've ever worked on in sixteen years as a forensic scientist," Scamahorn said.
Scamahorn conducted more than 300 tests in two rounds; first in 2000 and again in 2005, after Camm's first conviction was overturned and suspicion focused on Boney. She presented results from both rounds to jurors, but they won't be able to ask their own questions of her until Thursday at the earliest.
Prosecutors interrupted her testimony to hear from Banet, and from former firefighter Troy McDaniel, now a Floyd County detective. McDaniel testified that Camm had mentioned the sweatshirt to him shortly before his original arrest
"He (Camm) said something about a shirt that said 'Backbone' on it," McDaniel said.
"Backbone" is written inside the sweatshirt near the back collar. Boney identified the sweatshirt as his during his own murder trial. But under defense questioning, McDaniel conceded that Camm may not have mentioned the sweatshirt until his second trial in 2005.
"When you were transporting him, not prior to his arrest, attorney Richard Kammen asked McDaniel.
"Yes sir," answered McDaniel
"When it (the sweatshirt) was a big deal," Kammen continued.
"Yes sir," McDaniel said.
Testimony resumes at 10 a.m. Thursday.
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