Camm trial 10/16: Testimony ends with rebuttal battle over blood - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Camm trial 10/16: Testimony ends with rebuttal battle over blood, DNA evidence

David Camm David Camm
Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives) Kim, Bradley and Jill Camm (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)
Stan Levco Stan Levco
Richard Kammen Richard Kammen
Frank Renn Frank Renn

LEBANON, IN (WAVE) - After almost eight weeks, jurors have heard the final witness in David Camm's third trial on charges that he murdered his wife and two young children just over 13 years ago. They'll have to wait until five days to hear how prosecutors and Camm's attorneys frame the evidence, and to learn what Indiana law requires them to determine before reaching a verdict. 

If Wednesday's rebuttal witnesses offer the roadmap; as in Camm's earlier trials, it's all about connecting the dots. Dots of blood from his 5-year-old daughter Jill, left near the lower hem of his t-shirt.

Blood-stain pattern analyst Tom Bevel returned to refute defense claims that it's practically impossible for those dots to be gunshot spatter; proof that Camm was the killer. Crime scene reconstructionists Eugenio Liscio and Barie Goetz have testified that bullet trajectories and blood physics would have required the shooter to have been inside Kim Camm's Ford Bronco when firing.

Goetz also came back to counter Bevel's assertion that Camm couldn't have bloodied his shirt as claimed; by brushing up against his daughter's hair while removing his son Bradley, age 7, from the Bronco's back seat.

Bevel and Goetz both attempted to recreate the crime scene. Bevel chose a man of Camm's approximate height, positioning him just outside the Bronco by the right passenger door. A dowel represented a bullet's path to Jill Camm's head, and a laser depicted that blood spatter had a clear path to the shooter.

Bevel testified all three scenarios could produce spatter and said it didn't matter whether the shooter fired right-handed, left-handed or in a two-handed stance.

Camm shook his head and whispered to his attorneys during Bevel's second-recreation - a video depicting his son's removal from the Bronco using mannequins representing his son and daughter. The ‘Jill' mannequin's wig contained several droplets of blood.

"We did this a number of times," Bevel testified. The first four times the re-enactor's T-shirt missed the wig completely. "My son (the re-enactor) needed ten tries to get blood on his clothing."

The results produced transfer stains, as the defense maintains. But Bevel showed jurors they appeared to be larger than those on Camm's shirt.

However, Camm's team claimed Bevel's science is flawed.

"Your son moved a mannequin with one hand, and Brad weighs 45 pounds more," said Richard Kammen, the lead defense council.  "And it's hard to move a body."

Kammen replayed Goetz's video recreation which used live actors to portray Camm and his children. It shows the Camm re-enactor on his knees to steady himself, as he removes Bradley from the Bronco.

Bevel conceded that he'd had not measured the distance between the gun's muzzle and its target, nor had he depicted the bullet's exact trajectory and angle of fire.

"You've told the jury that small dots (of blood) don't fly very far," Kammen said.

"Larger dots can fly further," Bevel responded.

But Bevel's laser suggests that blood travels in a straight line rather than an arc, Kammen told jurors.

"That (laser) is not marking the flight path," Bevel responded.

Bevel maintains that Goetz's own experiments prove the blood on Camm's t-shirt could be gunshot spatter. But Goetz claims that Bevel has misrepresented the science.

"It's perfectly common sense that the blood source would have to be below the shirt," Goetz testified.

During the first day of rebuttals, Goetz recreated the experiments that he had detailed for the jury two weeks ago. Except this time, he used t-shirts of the same polyester and cotton blend that Camm wore the night of the murders.

The video jurors saw depicted Goetz leaning over a doll on a table with the artificial hair of the doll containing several droplets of blood. Goetz, clad in a fresh t-shirt for each pass, tried to brush the shirt across the doll's hair. Goetz said the efforts produced stains similar to those on Camm's shirt. However, special prosecutor Stan Levco said that misses the point.

"Isn't the real question whether somebody could lean over in the same way?" Levco asked.

Goetz told jurors that his experiments demonstrated just that, but he admitted it would have been more effective had his live model participated fully.

"We couldn't put blood in a (5-year-old) girl's hair," he said.

"The blood spatter is not the only evidence in this case, but it certainly is a big part of it," Levco said afterward.

New Touch DNA evidence also is critical to Camm's defense. But Carl Sobieralski, the Indiana State Police crime lab's top DNA analyst, told jurors Wednesday that Richard Eichelenboom, a Dutch DNA specialist, would have to change how his lab conducts tests before the results could be trusted.

Eichelenboom had testified that his lab found Charles Boney's DNA on Jill Camm's shirt and on her mother Kim's sweater-blouse and underwear. Boney has claimed he did nothing more than deliver the murder weapon and heard David Camm fire the fatal shots. Boney has been convicted of all three murders and is serving a 225 year sentence.

"Would you recommend this lab be accredited?" prosecutor Todd Meyer asked.

"I'd point out deficiencies," Sobieralski said. 

Among them: a failure to perform due diligence studies to verify that testers examined the right quantity of DNA so that artifacts or leftover chains wouldn't lead to mistaking one person's DNA for another.

Sobieralski echoed what forensic scientist Dr. Norah Rudin told jurors on Tuesday -that Eichelenboom's findings deserve extra scrutiny given that associate who tested for Boney's DNA test also gave wrong answers on proficiency tests last year and in 2011.

"She used the wrong extraction method," Sobieralski said.

Defense counsel Stacy Uliana told jurors Eichelenboom's lab is certified in its home country, the Netherlands.

"You know that an (accreditation) auditor looked at the lab," Uliana asked.

"That's what he (Eichelenboom) said," Sobieralski replied. "I can't say what they actually reviewed, only what they should have reviewed."

A review of Camm's phone records solved a mystery that his attorneys posed weeks ago - who called Kim Camm at 7:50 p.m. on September 28, 2000. The call went straight to voicemail. Based on investigators' revised timeline, the call came either shortly before the murders or as the crime occurred.

Ann Allen told jurors that the Camms were her landlords and that she was notifying them that she and her husband were moving and wouldn't be renewing their lease.

Frank Renn, Camm's father-in-law, wished he could have told jurors more than what prosecutors asked. Renn was called to rebut claims from Sam Lockhart, Camm's uncle, concerning the time Camm sat out a basketball game so that Lockhart could play. Lockhart and other players have stated that Camm stayed in the church gym until it closed, so he couldn't have murdered his family.

"I think he (Lockhart) was trying to cover for David by saying he got to the ballgame at 8'clock," Renn told reporters afterward. "But he told me he got there about 7:15."

Renn claimed Lockhart also had told him that blood evidence would determine whether he would bankroll his nephew's defense.

"I thought jurors ought to hear that," Renn said. "But they (the court) tell me it's hearsay."

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