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September 8, 2013

Alleged accomplice’s testimony may be key to case

INDIANAPOLIS — The testimony of a felon already sent to prison in the 2000 killings of a former Indiana state trooper’s family could help decide whether David Camm is convicted of murder a third time or walks away a free man after 11 years in prison.

Charles Boney is serving 225 years in the shooting deaths of Kimberly Camm, 35, Bradley, 7, and Jill, 5, inside the garage of the family’s home near Georgetown, about 15 miles west of Louisville, Ky.

Jurors in January 2006 convicted Boney on three counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Another jury convicted Camm in the killings a few months later. It was Camm’s second conviction, and both were overturned, setting the stage for the third trial which began Aug. 22 in Lebanon, a city north of Indianapolis more than 100 miles from where the killings occurred.

Defense attorneys at Camm’s first trial in 2002 argued that evidence at the scene showed another man had been present. After Camm’s first conviction was overturned, tests linked DNA and other evidence at the scene to Boney, who had been released from prison only months earlier. Prosecutors maintain Camm and Boney conspired in the killings, a scenario backed up by Boney.

According to court records, Boney told police and wrote later in an autobiography that he had sold the gun used in the shootings to Camm and had been outside the garage during the shootings.

But Indiana University School of Law professor Fran Watson said Boney changed his story repeatedly under police questioning.

“The way this has come down to the state saying they conspired and the defense saying Boney acted alone, it’s all going to come down to Boney,” Watson said.

But whether Camm’s attorneys will able to use some that evidence isn’t clear. When defense attorney Richard Kammen mentioned Boney’s foot fetish in the third trial’s opening arguments, Special Prosecutor Stan Levco said Kammen had violated an agreement between both sides and moved for a mistrial. Special Judge Jon Darrt allowed the trial to continue, but warned Kammen and told jurors to ignore the reference.

Tests found Boney’s DNA on Camm’s daughter and on Kim Camm’s underwear, and Kim Camm’s shoes were found on top of the SUV. But the judge in the second trial ruled defense attorneys couldn’t use evidence that Boney had a foot fetish and attacked and robbed women because his previous crimes were not similar enough to the 2000 killings.

Much of the case revolves around scientific evidence, and Watson said both sides will try to use science to their own advantage.

“New science will add to the ability to cross — new science about where Boney touched he victims,” Watson said. “The prosecutors can challenge its weight, but not their admissibility.”

“The truth is facts are facts, and the prosecutors’ proof as the story unfolded is from Boney,” she said. “They have to have Boney.”

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