LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - The very evidence prosecutors claim ties David Camm to the murders of his wife and their two young children actually offers proof that Camm couldn't have shot them says a renowned blood-pattern analyst.
"The only way to get ‘projected' blood on the hem of his T-shirt is to get the hem at or above the level of the source of the spatter," testified Barie Goetz, a defense witness.
Goetz was referring to several tiny blood stains found near the hemline of Camm's t-shirt. DNA testing has revealed the blood is that of 5-year-old Jill Camm.
Indiana State Police investigators and the prosecution's independent consultant have insisted that only one scenario explains how it got there: Camm shot Jill at such close range that blood from her head wound sprayed onto him.
The technical term is High Velocity Impact Spatter (HVIS). But Goetz told jurors that his own experiments prove that Camm could have gotten blood on his t-shirt, left shoe and a sock while he was trying to save his son Bradley, 7, and summoning help.
Jill Camm's body was found in the back seat of her mother's Ford Bronco. She was still strapped into her seat belt.
"Assuming Jill is still relatively upright when shot, is there any possible way the t-shirt would have been above the entry wound?" asked defense counsel Richard Kammen.
"No," Goetz said. "You can't get the hemline level of the t-shirt above Jill Camm's head, standing inside the Bronco."
The more likely scenario, Goetz told jurors, is that Camm's shirt brushed up against partially-dried blood in Jill's hair when he climbed into the SUV to remove Bradley, so that he could attempt CPR.
Goetz tested the theory with live actors, re-creating the crime scene as investigators found it and as Camm described it. Jurors saw two video clips in which the actor portraying Camm struggles to remove a 70-pound boy from the back seat and out of the passenger-side door.
"It's moving seventy pounds of dead weight," Goetz said. "And what he (the actor portraying Camm) can't see is the shirt touching the hair in one of them (the clips)."
Goetz attempted to recreate the t-shirt stains by brushing several new shirts up against a doll's head, whose hair was stained with real human blood.
"The first time I got a typical swipe stain, not like (what's on Camm's t-shirt)," Goetz said. "But the blood was newly wet."
So Goetz waited an hour-and-a-half to test it again, roughly the time that elapsed from when investigators believe Camm's wife and children were shot until Camm arrived home and claims to have discovered the bodies.
"The stain recreated is similar to that from (the bottom of Camm's t-shirt), " said Goetz.
Testing has revealed Jill's blood also is on the back of Camm's t-shirt, the door leading from the garage to the breezeway and on the telephone in Camm's kitchen. Goetz told jurors that Camm could have gotten the blood on his fingers while removing Brad, then wiped his fingers on his shirt, leaving the other stains when he call the ISP Sellersburg post to report the crimes.
Goetz also used re-enactors to demonstrate how blood from Kimberly Camm, 35, could have wound up on the sole of his right shoe, the upper leather and laces of his left shoe, and one of his socks.
His findings contradict those of Tom Bevel, a blood-pattern analyst for ISP, and Rod Englert, the private consultant whose co-worker's initial findings led to Camm's arrest. Bevel and Englert maintain that an oval-shaped stain on Camm's left shoe is blood spattered from his wife's head wound, or blood projected when she fell to the garage floor after being shot.
"These are transfer stains, not projected stains," Goetz testified.
"And stains of a feather stay together," Kammen echoed.
Bevel and Englert have speculated that Camm's right shoe could have made a bloody print that investigators photographed, but failed to specify where they found it.
Kim Camm's pants had been removed when investigators found her body. They were lying next to her, near the body of Bradley. Utilizing still photos recreating Camm's version of events, Goetz showed jurors how Camm's right shoe might have rested on the blood-soaked pants while performing CPR on Bradley.
"A pool of blood (on the floor itself) would have created a greater-volume stain, not as precise as what we found," Goetz testified.
The shoe print itself is consistent with the wearer raising up on his toes as if he was running, or reaching up to place or to remove an object, he added.
Investigators likely found the print on the right side of the garage, where Camm would have parked, near the exit door to the outside, Goetz concluded.
In recorded interrogations, Camm has indicated that he ran to a relative's home nearby after discovering the bodies and trying to save his son. Camm's uncle, Nelson Lockhart, confirmed that contact in testimony Wednesday. Goetz asserts that Camm could have gotten blood stains on his left gym shoe and a sock, if the loops of his laces bounced across the surface of his shoe as he ran.
"Projected blood doesn't look like this - its shape is inconsistent," Goetz said. "This stain is surrounded by transfer stains, and it is a stain that is ‘reproduceable.'"
Goetz acknowledge that he was unable to recreate the ovoid stain despite five tests of his theory.
"I was able to create it by dragging a bloody lace across the shoe," Goetz said.
The other stains are in a radius, consistent with a shoelace loop striking the surface during a run he added. Further, the shape of the stains themselves indicates that Camm's laces could have dipped in the pool of blood flowing from his wife's head wound as he knelt over their son.
Goetz told jurors he holds a Bachelor's degree in Medical Technology, a Master's in Forensic Science, and has more than 35 years experience in blood pattern analysis. Prosecutors have yet to cross-examine Goetz, beyond a question as to why he chose not to place a backpack on the Bronco's rear seat when he recreated Camm's removal of his son.
"Your results are not accurate," said Stan Levco, the special prosecutor appointed to try the case.
"They still could be," Goetz responded. "The exact position of the backpack wasn't known. I'm not sure why we left it out."
Amid Levco's prodding, Goetz said in hindsight he would have included the backpack if he had it to do over.
The defense team interrupted Goetz' presentation briefly to hear from Jeff Lockhart, the Camm cousin who organized the church basketball games on September 28, 2000 that serve as their client's alibi. But Lockhart's testimony came only after Camm's lawyers received assurances that jurors would not hear him asked to explain why he had telephoned another player, Scott Schrank.
Wednesday, Schrank testified that Lockhart had pressured him to "get his story straight" so that his timetable matched those of the other players regarding when Camm was playing or off the court. Schrank told jurors that the conversation soured their friendship.
"The relationship broke up because of (Schrank's) talk about David's womanizing, not the timeline of basketball," said defense counsel Stacy Uliana.
"And the (Indiana) Supreme Court says you can't go there, not one little bit," Kammen added.
Allegations of adultery served as one basis for overturning Camm's first conviction in 2004.
"If you ask Mr. Lockhart if there were other reasons for the friendship ending, that's as far as it goes," Special Judge Jon Dartt told prosecutors. "No mention of inadmissible evidence unless the court rules otherwise."
On the stand, Lockhart echoed other's testimony that Camm played at least one game and sat out another before returning to the basketball court. Lockhart also said Camm was right in front of him when he locked the gym's door just before 9:30 p.m.
Lockhart also conceded that he talked to Schrank and other players following Camm's arrest.
"We weren't trying to coordinate anything," Lockhart told prosecutors.
Goetz' testimony is set to resume Friday.
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