Cop Alleges Outrageous Murder Frame Job
By DAVID WELLS
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (CN) - Finally acquitted of the murder of his family after three trials over 13 years, a former Indiana State Police officer wants damages for the alleged frame job.
David Camm says he had been playing basketball with 11 witnesses on the Sept. 28, 2000, when his 35-year-old wife, Kim, and the couple's children, 7-year-old Brand and 5-year-old Jill, were executed in the family's Georgetown, Ind., home.
Their killer, Charles Boney, was "a notorious felon with at least 11 prior arrests and/or convictions in Indiana," the federal complaint filed Friday states.
On the night he killed Camm's family, Boney was "on probation from a 20-year prison sentence," Camm says.
Investigators allegedly discounted various evidence pointing to Boney, including his DNA, handprints and clothes, however, because they were "fixated on 36 year-old David Camm, as the prime (and only) suspect in their investigation, despite the complete absence of any evidence linking him with the crime," the 74-page complaint states (parentheses in original).
In addition to Floyd County Attorney Stanley Faith, Camm's complaint takes aim at 18 other prosecutors and investigators, plus Floyd County and Englert Forensic Consultants, as defendants.
"Defendants conspired to ignore the actual evidence linking Boney to the murders, and to target Camm for crimes that he clearly did not commit," the complaint states.
Camm notes that Faith "insisted on using his 'guy,'" Rodney Englert, to process the crime scene back in 2000.
Englert allegedly put his "assistant" Robert Stites on the job, but Stites later "admitted that prior to the Camm scene, he had never before processed a homicide scene," Camm says.
Though "Stites' conclusions were used in the probable cause affidavit that charged David Camm with murder and other crimes," "it was later revealed that every single opinion and/or conclusion of Stites that appeared in the affidavit was incorrect," the complaint states.
Camm says it later became clear that the unqualified Stites "perjured himself" to get Camm convicted.
The first jury to convict Camm of his family's murders did so in 2002, but that verdict was reversed on appeal in 2004 because of the introduction of prejudicial evidence, according to the complaint.
In searching for an explanation as to why Faith refused to follow the evidence to Boney, Camm notes that "Boney later related that Faith was a longtime 'friend of the family.'"
Boney's mother had listed Faith as a job reference, and Faith represented Boney in an unrelated 2004 criminal matter and Boney's 2004 divorce, the complaint states.
Camm's insistence on DNA-testing the sweatshirt left behind at the crime scene finally linked Boney to the case in 2005, according to the complaint.
Days after Boney's March 2005 arrest for the Camm family murders, Faith's successor Keith Henderson filed new charges against Camm, according to the complaint.
Camm says the defendants cooked up evidence he and Boney had murdered Camm's family together, and that Boney went along with the story to avoid the death penalty.
While all this was going on, Henderson was hiring a literary agent for his plans to write about the Camm case, thus giving him a "profit motive" to convict the innocent father, according to the complaint.
It would be another three years after Camm's 2006 conviction by a second jury that Henderson reached a publishing deal, Camm says.
Just weeks after (nonparty) Berkley Penguin Group sent Henderson and his co-author advances in early June 2009, however, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed Camm's second conviction because of "Henderson's misconduct," according to the complaint.
Camm says Henderson emailed his agent this development, inquiring whether, "by cashing the check from the publisher, he would be agreeing to a time frame which would put his future involvement in the prosecution in jeopardy."
"Henderson also wrote to his literary agent, 'this is now a bigger story,'" the complaint states.
When Henderson refiled the murder charges against Camm that November, Camm says he moved to remove Henderson as prosecutor "due to his obvious conflict, i.e., the pecuniary gain from a book about the 'bigger story' of yet another trial."
"Nonetheless, Henderson refused to step down in the face of a clear conflict of interest," the complaint states. "His refusal elongated David Camm's incarceration and criminal prosecution for approximately two more years."
In slapping Henderson for his conflict of interest in November 2011, the Indiana Supreme Court said, as quoted in the complaint: "Henderson has established a personal agenda to both write this book and ensure that Camm is prosecuted. Henderson's own words are evidence of that agenda."
On Oct. 24, 2013, over two months after the third trial began in Boone County, Ind., "David Camm was found not guilty of the three murders and was released from custody," the complaint states.
Camm says it was not mere negligence that caused the "gross miscarriage of justice" against him.
It "was caused by the deliberate, reckless and egregious misconduct of the defendants acting in violation of well-established investigative practices and clearly established laws," the complaint states. "David Camm's two unjust convictions and years of wrongful imprisonment were the direct result of a veritable perfect storm of misconduct by virtually every actor involved in this investigation and prosecution."
Aside from this case, Camm still faces other legal battles with his in-laws over how to distribute money from his family's three estates.
Camm seek punitive damages for violations of his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights. He is represented by Garry Adams of Clay, Daniel, Walton & Adams in Louisville, Ky