LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - Prosecutors have rested their case in Indiana's third effort to convict David Camm for the murders of his wife and their two young children almost 13 years ago.
Ironically, Camm himself was their last witness. The court compelled him to show jurors the tattoo a former inmate claimed he'd commissioned, following his first conviction in 2002. The artist, convicted murderer Jeremy Bullock, has testified that Camm confessed the killings to him as Bullock was completing the design.
Bullock took his claim to authorities after an appellate court overturned Camm's first conviction in 2004. He testified in Camm's second trial and has been out on probation since late last year. Prosecutors persuaded Bullock's sentencing judge to reduce his prison term.
Camm's show-without-tell ended a day in which he lost a bid for a mistrial and heard a lead investigator concede that a state police detective had removed evidence without permission. His team also failed, again, to persuade Special Judge Jon Dartt to allow jurors to hear the full criminal history of the other man convicted of his family's murders; Charles Darnell Boney.
Judge Dartt had been considering the mistrial motion for two days. Camm's attorneys had argued the prosecutors in Camm's second trial had withheld bombshell written statements that Boney's ex- girlfriend, Mala Singh Mattingly, had submitted to detectives who questioned her shortly after DNA test results had linked her and Boney to a sweatshirt found at the murder scene.
"The only remedy is to dismiss with prejudice (not bring charges again)," Lead Counsel Richard Kammen told the court. "We're not blaming these guys (the current prosecution team), but had we known about it, we certainly would have questioned Mr. Boney differently."
In the statement, Mattingly wrote Boney had shown her a photo of a woman he called "Kim" in August 2000, one month before the murders. Camm's attorneys have insisted that Boney is the lone killer, and that he may have targeted or stalked Camm's wife Kimberly.
But Mattingly's statement does not indicate the picture was of Kimberly Camm. In testimony Tuesday, Mattingly denied being able to recognize who was pictured, when detectives showed her Camm family photos earlier. She also insisted she's never been to, nor even seen, the Camm's Georgetown home.
"Mistrial is an extreme remedy," Judge Dartt told Camm's lawyers Thursday. "The state is ultimately responsible, but there is an appropriate remedy."
The defense may re-call Mattingly and Boney to explain the statements, but that cannot lead to questioning Boney about his convictions for violence against women, Dartt ruled.
Later Thursday, former Indiana State Police Det. Gary Gilbert, conceded a cousin of Boney's had removed Camm's wife's cellphone from an evidence locker shortly after Camm was charged with the Camms' murders.
The evidence locker's checkout log shows that the cousin, ISP Det. Myron Wilkerson, returned the phone two months later, Gilbert testified.
"He (Wilkerson) told me that he wanted to see whether he could get any information from the phone, and that he couldn't," Gilbert testified under defense cross-examination. "I told him it was improper."
Gilbert wanted to Kim Camm's phone checked for fingerprints as part of the reevaluation of evidence prior to Camm's second trial. Technicians were unable to recover any fingerprints from the phone, he testified.
Jurors were unable to find out more about three calls listed on Kim Camm's cell records; one, at 7:50 p.m. the night of the murders and two more the day after.
Gilbert told them he didn't know whether the calls were incoming or outgoing, and that detectives made no effort to contact or to learn the names of the customers tied to the numbers listed.
Boney has maintained he delivered the untraceable gun to Camm's house, as Camm requested, at about 7 p.m. the night Camm's family was murdered. He also has testified that Kim Camm and the children arrived home in her Ford Bronco only minutes later, and that he heard Camm shoot them shortly thereafter.
In questioning, Gilbert told defense counsel Richard Kammen the 7:50 p.m. cellphone call was out-going. If accurate, it could throw Boney's timetable and account of the shootings into question.
Camm's team maintains that Wilkerson also was a key player in turning Boney from suspect to witness, in the days after DNA testing linked Boney to the sweatshirt.
"Wilkerson is telling him (Boney) don't let your mother go to her grave with you on death row," Kammen asked, after playing a recording of part of an early interrogation.
Gilbert confirmed the account, but answered ‘no' when Kammen asked whether he'd encouraged Wilkerson to tell Boney that he could be facing the death penalty.
Late Thursday afternoon, ISP lab technician Melissa Meyers testified she examined fingernail clippings of Camm's wife, and 5-year-old daughter Jill, utilizing testing that identifies only male DNA.
Clippings from Jill Camm's left hand yielded DNA that could have come from her father, or her 7-year-old brother Bradley, Meyers testified. The right-hand clippings revealed DNA from two males, whom she couldn't identify with certainty.
"They could have come from David Camm or Charles Boney," prosecutor Todd Meyer stated.
"Or they could have come from any man," defense co-counsel Stacy Uliana asked later.
Meyers conceded that both were possible.
Testing of Kim Camm's clipping yielded similar results.
The defense had fought efforts to force Camm to bare the tattoo Bullock inked, arguing that to do so would be humiliating and photographs would suffice. Judge Dartt allowed Camm to wear a T-shirt, but denied defense motions to show jurors photos of another of Camm's prison tattoos, bearing his children's names.
The incident prompted a conference when Kammen told jurors he'd like to make photos available. Afterward, Dartt's irritation was visible and audible as he issued jurors instructions prior to their four day break.
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