Court Overturns Family Slaying Conviction, Orders 3rd Trial
Former Indiana State Trooper David Camm Had Been Convicted Twice
1:19 PM, Jun 26, 2009
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday tossed out the murder convictions of a former state trooper in the deaths of his wife and two children and it ordered a new trial.David Camm, 45, has twice been convicted for the killings, but the court said in a 4-1 ruling that the judge in the retrial improperly allowed prosecutors to raise the prospect that he molested his daughter despite not presenting evidence to support that claim."The erroneous admission of speculative evidence and argument that the defendant molested his daughter, combined with the state's use of this evidence as the foundation of its case, requires that the convictions be reversed," Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the majority.A message seeking comment was left Friday for Camm's defense attorney, Katharine Liell. The state attorney general's office, which handled the appeal, did not comment on the ruling.Camm's wife, Kimberly, and their children, 7-year-old Bradley and 5-year-old Jill, were shot to death in 2000 after returning home from swim practice.Camm, who had been a state trooper for more than a decade, left the force about four months before the slayings.He has always maintained his innocence, providing as an alibi 11 people who testified Camm was with them playing basketball in a nearby church gymnasium when his family was killed.Prosecutors contended Camm left the basketball game, killed his family, then made the five-minute drive back to the church. He reported the deaths once he returned to the home in southern Indiana.In 2004 the state appeals court overturned his first conviction. Then Camm was convicted again in 2006 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Another man -- Charles Boney -- was convicted in 2006 of helping Camm with the killings.In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Randall Shepard said the two reversals have "unnecessarily sanitized the evidence against David Camm.""Part of the reason I regard reversal as unwarranted is the rest of the evidence the jury heard," Shepard wrote.He said Camm claims he "came home to a horrific scene, concluded his son was warm and might still be saved, decided to go inside the house, called a distant police agency, turned down three suggestions that medical help be sent, and only then went back to the garage to administer CPR."