Witnesses or forensics? Which would you believe?
What do juries consider when deliberating? According to two separate Indiana juries that tried this murder case, it sure isn't alibi witnesses. In fact, the circumstances surrounding the horrific murders of Kimberly Camm and her two children, Bradley and Jill, in the garage of their home in September 2000, have led to an overturned murder conviction of former Indiana State Trooper David Camm, and resulted in Camm's second trial and conviction, along with separate murder trial and conviction of an ex-con named Charles Boney. Oh yeah, another convict has accused Boney of plotting this murder while still in jail, but he was not allowed to testify.
To get a closer look at this baffling murder case I interviewed CBS News reporter Richard Schlesinger, whose 48 Hours Mystery special, "Murder On Lockhart Road" will air this Saturday, December 9th, 2006, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Schlesinger has been following this story from the very beginning, and while he does not wish to come down on one side or the other of this controversial case, he did tell me, "It's not like there's more to the crime scene than meets the eye. It's all there, but they [the investigators and prosecutors] didn't know what it meant."
From what I can determine, here is what is known. Former Trooper David Camm makes a frantic call to police at 9:29 P.M., to say that his wife and kids have been murdered. The police arrive to find the wife shot to death on the garage floor, and both kids shot dead inside the family's Ford Bronco. Within hours, Camm had become the only suspect.
David Camm tells the police that he had returned home from playing basketball at his church with eleven of his friends and relatives. All eleven people confirm this fact to the police in subsequent interviews. The games started at about 7:15 PM.
According to Camm's uncle, Sam Lockhart, and nearly a dozen other people, Camm was playing basketball with them between 7:05 and 9:22 PM. While the testimony of these alibi witnesses at trial indicated that Camm did not play ball every minute of every game, all of the witnesses testified that he never left the gym. Lockhart made a pre-trial statement to the press and claimed that "the defense can establish and prove beyond any doubt that David would have had only 90 to 120 seconds to get into an argument with his wife, struggle with her, beat her, kill his wife and children and then dispose of the gun so well that it has not been recovered." The drive time between the church gym and the Camm home is approximately 5 minutes.
Laboratory examination of David Camm's t-shirt reveals eight minute blood spots, typically referred to as blood "spatter" or "splatter." The blood on the shirt is determined by DNA to be that of his daughter Jill. The prosecution's expert claims high velocity blood mist or "blowback" caused the close-range transfer, while Camm's expert claims the transfer occurred when Camm discovered the bodies and leaned in the car where his kids had died. This jury apparently believed the prosecution's expert.
At the crime scene, a mysterious gray sweatshirt is found in the Bronco, underneath Brad. This sweatshirt could not be linked to Camm. It had the word "Backbone" written on the inside tag, and it contained the DNA of a stranger. There was also unknown DNA evidence on both Kim's and Brad's pants, as well as latent fingerprints on the Ford Bronco that did not belong to any of the Camms. Somehow, this DNA was not processed thru CODIS, the FBI Laboratory's COmbined DNA Index System, until 2005, when it was identified as belonging to an ex-con named Charles Boney, aka "Backbone." The latent fingerprints on the Bronco were positively identified as Boney's as well.