LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - Former K-9 unit officer Shelley Romero admits she thought Indiana State Police were moving too fast when they charged David Camm, a former state trooper, with murdering his wife Kim, and their two young children not quite three days after the crimes.
But Romero also didn't know quite what to make of her friend's behavior when she found herself among the first to respond to his Georgetown home, September 28, 2000.
"I grabbed hold of him and said ‘what happened," Romero told the Boone County jurors at Camm's third murder trial Tuesday.
"He said, somebody's killed my F---ing (expletive) family!"
Twenty minutes later, Camm would turn from quiet and withdrawn to "really aggressive," with the troopers and evidence technicians handling the investigation.
"If I saw him by himself, I'd grab hold of him and talk to him," Romero testified. "He was clenching his jaw, punching the air. They were real tense conversations."
Romero said Camm told her he had removed his son from his wife's Ford Bronco and tried to revive him with CPR,
"It was important for him to let them (investigators) know that's why Brad was found on the floor," said Romero.
Romero also testified about a phone call that awakened her two mornings later.
"(Camm) was sobbing, asking if he thought (his children; Brad, 7 and Jill, 5), were in heaven," Romero said.
Romero said she also received another call that night from Camm.
"He was asking me (what woman) would want him, a guy whose wife and kids and been killed," Romero testified.
Indiana State Police arrested Camm shortly before Romero planned to pick him up to complete funeral arrangements.
Romero videotaped the Camm family funerals "so that if the somebody who showed up who had done it (committed the crimes), and David were released, he could see it."
But two weeks later, Romero learned that police and prosecutors considered her a suspect too. Her home was searched and she was compelled her to surrender her service weapon.
"It wasn't popular for me to speak out," Romero told the jury. "I found out later that we (other troopers) were prohibited from going to the funeral, but nobody told me that."
Romero was removed from the ISP in 2008, she said.
"They call it a mental disability," said Romero, "but they won't tell me what it is, and won't let me back."
"After you were made an example of, people quit talking," said defense attorney Richard Kammen.
Romero's testimony followed lengthy questioning of the Lynn Scamahorn, the ISP technician who processed the crime scene for DNA and blood evidence, and re-tested some clothing in 2005, prior to Camm's first retrial.
On August 29, Scamahorne conceded that investigators likely could have tied serial felon Charles Boney to the murders before Camm's first trial in 2001 had they used the FBI's national database, or CODIS, to check the run DNA collected from a sweatshirt underneath Bradley Camm's body. Boney's DNA had been in CODIS' files since 1997.
"I didn't know we had it until (Valentine's Day) 2005," Scamahorn explained to jurors Tuesday morning. The shirt's collar markings "Backbone" her reluctant to cut sections for testing, she said, out of concern that she'd hamper another technician's search for evidence.
But once she knew a sample, CODIS confirmed Boney's identity in two hours. Boney was convicted of the Camm's murders in 2006 and sentenced to 225 years in prison.
Scamahorn confirmed that Boney's sweatshirt contained three deposits of found Kim Camm's DNA and three deposits of Bradley Camm's blood.
David Camm's t-shirt contained DNA from his daughter Jill in four places and from son Brad in five, including eight to 10 dots found near the shirt bottom's hem. Prosecutors maintain that those dots resulted from High Velocity Impact Spatter (HVIS); proof that Camm himself shot his family at such close range that their blood sprayed on him.
Scamahorne said testing found Kim Camm's blood on three parts of Boney's sweatshirt, also on one of her husband's socks and on David Camm's shoelaces. Jurors also heard that testing found none of David Camm's DNA or blood on Boney's sweatshirt.
What they won't hear or see is Scamahorne's memo to her then-supervisors following Camm's first trial, stating claiming that Stan faith, who was then the Floyd County prosecutor, had threatened to charge her with obstruction and get her fired for refusing to testify that Camm left his DNA on Boney's T-shirt.
"He (Faith) was very much upset with me," Scamahorne told the court Tuesday.
"This goes to the conduct of the investigation and a win-at-all-costs attitude at its worst," claimed defense counsel Stacey Uliana.
But Scamahorne conceded she didn't change her testimony, nor did she believe any other technician bowed to pressure.
"These are new prosecutors, new eyes, and new evidence," Special Judge Jon Dartt ruled. "The memo is out."
Dartt utilized similar reasoning in ruling that prosecutors could suggest that Camm killed his family to collect newly-purchased and enhanced insurance benefits. But Dartt won't allow them to speculate that Camm and another family member pressured his wife, or bought those policies specifically for that purpose.
If Romero had felt a conflict between duty and friendship, so too did former ISP Lt. James Biddle, the former training officer.
"I'd considered Dave Camm a friend, " Biddle testified Tuesday.
As a senior officer on scene, Biddle had decided that the Sellersburg post should direct the investigation. He also faced a confrontation when he refused to allow Camm to re-enter the home to collect clothing for his wife's and children's funerals.
"He chest-pumped me," Biddle testified.
When court resumes on Wednesday jurors will hear the tape of a telephone conversation between the two men shortly before Camm's arrest.
Kim Camm's mother, Janice Renn, had been waiting to testify for four days. Tuesday, she took the stand for little more than twenty minutes. Renn told jurors that her daughter was quiet, private and unlikely to tell her parents if her family life was troubled.
Renn said last saw her daughter and grandchildren only hours before they died.
"They gave me the peace sign," she testified.
The gesture had become a family tradition.
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