LEBANON, Ind. — The third murder trial of a former Indiana state trooper charged with killing his wife and two children began Thursday with a spotlight on mistakes made during the initial investigation.
Stan Levco, the third prosecutor to press murder charges against 49-year-old David Camm, said investigators made a serious error in the days after the September 2000 shooting in ignoring DNA evidence that pointed to the presence of another man at the crime scene — Charles Boney, who had been released from prison only months earlier.
"This was a serious mistake to overlook this DNA sample," the special prosecutor told jurors during opening arguments.
Boney is serving a 225-year sentence in the triple murder. Prosecutors maintain he conspired with Camm to kill Camm's family — wife Kimberly Camm, 7-year-old son Brad Camm and 5-year-old daughter Jill Camm.
David Camm has been convicted of murder twice, and both convictions were overturned after judges ruled prosecutors used unsupported evidence to sway jurors.
When defense attorney Richard Kammen mentioned Boney's foot fetish, Levco angrily moved for a mistrial, saying it broke rules agreed upon by both sides. In a fiery exchange, Kammen argued that Levco had opened the door to barred evidence in his own opening argument.
Special Judge Jon Darrt allowed the trial to continue, warning Kammen not to cross that line again and telling jurors to ignore the reference.
Levco's opening argument and first witnesses focused on what police found in the garage of Camm's Georgetown home when they arrived minutes after Camm phoned the state police post where he had worked and told them to "send everybody." Camm had left the state police four months before his family was killed.
Much of that testimony revolved around so-called "blood spatter" evidence, which prosecutors at all three trials have argued was blowback from the gun Camm used to kill the family.