Ex-Ind. trooper's uncle testifies in murder trial
Last Updated: 73 days ago
LEBANON, Ind. - The uncle of a onetime Indiana state trooper charged with fatally shooting his wife and two children told a jury Tuesday that his nephew wailed in grief and collapsed onto the driveway outside the murder scene as police and relatives converged on the man's home 13 years ago.
Sam Lockhart also testified that police spoke to him only briefly on the telephone about his and his nephew's whereabouts the night of the killings before arresting David Camm in the slayings of Camm's wife, 35-year-old Kim Camm, and their children, 7-year-old Bradley and 5-year-old Jill.
Lockhart has maintained he was playing basketball with Camm and others at a church around the time of the September 2000 killings in the garage of the family's home in Georgetown, an Indiana suburb of Louisville, Ky.
He was the second witness called by Camm's attorneys Tuesday as they opened their defense in his third murder trial by trying to undermine the prosecutors' case, pointing to problems at the outset of the investigation that led to Camm being charged. Camm has twice been convicted of the shootings, but those convictions were thrown out on appeal.
The 68-year-old Lockhart said under questioning by defense attorney Richard Kammen that on the night of the killings one of his brothers called him and said he needed to go to Camm's house because something had happened to Camm's two children.
Lockhart told jurors he raced to Camm's house and arrived to find Camm standing behind his truck, his hands on the tailgate, parked outside the family's garage. Lockhart choked with emotion as he recalled looking inside the garage and seeing the bodies of Camm's wife and his son sprawled on the garage floor.
As police and other emergency vehicles began arriving, he said his nephew broke down.
"He just screamed this loud, primal, howling scream and went down to the asphalt driveway and started kicking and screaming," Lockhart said Tuesday.
Camm left the state police force four months before the killings to take a job with Lockhart.
Prosecutors rested their case Thursday following four weeks of testimony from witnesses, including a career criminal who said he sold Camm the gun prosecutors contend the former officer used to kill his wife and two children.
That man, Charles Boney, is serving a 225-year sentence following his conviction on charges of murder and conspiracy in the 2000 slayings.
The murder weapon in the killings has not been found.
Lockhart also testified that he did not attend the victims' funeral because he was attending Camm's initial hearing on the murder charges held the same day. At that hearing, Lockhart said he testified that Camm was with him playing basketball at a church gym the night of the killings.
Lockhart recounted that he played one game of pickup basketball with Camm, and then Camm sat out the second game and was standing courtside talking to one of Lockhart's friends during that game. He said Camm then played the third game before Lockhart left the church.
He told jurors he never saw Camm leave, return or act unusual that night at the church and hadn't seen blood on his clothing.
The defense's first witness Tuesday was Robert Stites, a former forensic consultant whose notes about blood spatter that he said was on Camm's T-shirt the night of the killings helped police charge Camm.
Under questioning by defense attorney Stacy Uliana, Stites admitted he misled the first jury, in 2002, when he told them he was a crime scene reconstructionist who had testified in three criminal cases. He said Tuesday he had never provided such testimony and that he was only a notetaker and a photographer for a crime scene reconstruction expert, Rod Englert.
Stites conceded that Englert later told him that, "you went overboard, that you were talking, fumbling and giving opinions" that he wasn't qualified to provide.
A forensic expert testified last week in Camm's trial that stains on his T-shirt were consistent with blood spatter from Camm's daughter being shot.
Camm, 49, has spent most of the last 13 years behind bars. In order to find an impartial jury, his third trial was moved to Lebanon, about 25 miles northwest of Indianapolis and more than 100 miles from where the slayings occurred.
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