Camm trial begins with ‘bombshell’
A former Indiana State Police trooper — charged with murdering his wife and two children — and his attorney learned Monday that the prosecution claims the accused made a telephone call from his home shortly before the crime occurred, indicating he was home rather than gone for the evening as he has said.
During opening arguments Monday morning in the packed New Albany courtroom, Floyd County Deputy Prosecutor Susan Orth dropped the “bombshell” that David R. Camm telephoned a client at 7:19 p.m. from the couple’s Georgetown home.
Camm — arrested less than 72 hours after the bodies of his wife of 11 years, Kimberly S. Camm, 35, and their two children, Bradley, 7, and Jill, 5, were found in their garage on the evening of Sept. 28, 2000 — has contended ever since the crimes took place that he was playing basketball at a Georgetown church.
Michael McDaniel of Lanesville, Camm’s attorney, said the defense will stick to his client’s alibi that he was playing basketball and didn’t leave the church until or about 9 p.m. McDaniel also claims the call Camm placed was never answered and lasted less than a minute.
Testimony began Monday afternoon. The prosecution started with the telephone call Camm placed to the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg. Camm was a state trooper assigned to that post for several years, until he resigned May 8, 2000, and began working for United Dynamics Inc., a building foundation contracting company owned by his uncle, Sam Lockhart.
Rather than calling 911 after discovering the bodies of his family, Camm dialed the post’s direct line. Sounding frantic, Camm identified himself to the dispatcher who answered the phone and demanded to talk to the post commander.
“Right now, let me talk to post command!” Camm shouted.
When ISP Trooper Andrew Lee came on the line, Camm shouted, “Get everybody here to my house now! My wife and kids are dead!”
The call continued briefly, with Camm demanding the state police come to his house, before Camm hung up.
Lee, who said he’s known Camm since he was transferred to the Sellersburg post in March 1995, immediately dispatched troopers to the residence in the 7500 block of Lockhart Road in rural Georgetown.
Detective Sean Clemons, lead investigator in the case, began testifying late Monday afternoon and was expected to continue yesterday.
Ironically, it was Camm who encouraged Clemons to join the state police in 1992. Clemons said he’s known Camm about 20 years and referred to him as “a friend” before they became co-workers.
Clemons said he and another trooper riding with him the evening of Sept. 28 heard radio traffic concerning something “going on” at the Camm residence.
“I started that way immediately” and arrived about 9:45 p.m., Clemons said.
Clemons said he was motioned by David Camm’s uncle to pull into the yard near the garage. Clemons went into the garage and saw Kimberly and Bradley’s bodies laying on the floor on the passenger side of their Ford Bronco. Jill was still in the Bronco. All three victims had been shot with a .38-caliber gun.
Clemons did an interior “sweep” of the house, looking for other people in the residence, he said.
The detective told the jury that the French doors in the kitchen were shut and locked, and the front door of the house was locked. He described the interior of the house as “neat and orderly” but noted one thing as “unusual.” The screensaver feature on the computer in the couple’s bedroom was not on.
Clemons said he has received between 500 and 1,000 reports in the murder case that state police have “treated like any other” even though it involves a former police officer.
WAVE-TV Meteorologist Tom Wills briefly took the stand Monday afternoon to provide weather conditions at the time of the murders. He also answered questions from the prosecution about how sound could travel during those conditions.
“Sound could travel freely in any direction,” Wills said.
The trial is expected to last four to six weeks. During that time, the jury, selected in Johnson County and consisting of seven women and five men and three alternates (a woman and two men), are being housed in Floyd County during the week and allowed to return home for the weekends.