Ex-lover said Camm pulled a gun on her
A woman who had a four-month affair with the man accused of killing his wife and two children told the jury yesterday morning how David Camm pulled a handgun on her one morning after she had been at another man’s apartment.
Camm, a former Indiana State Police trooper, is charged with killing his wife, Kimberly, 35, and their son, Bradley, 7, and daughter, Jill, 5. The murders occurred Sept. 28, 2000, at their rural Georgetown home. David Camm was arrested Oct. 1, 2000. He has been incarcerated in the Floyd County Jail since then.
Stephanie A. Neely testified yesterday in Floyd County Superior Court how she met Camm in 1992 when he joined The Fitness Zone in New Albany.
Neely, who was Stephanie McCarty at that time, said Camm was “very friendly” toward her. “We were friends,” she said because she had a boyfriend, Mark Abbott, who also worked at The Fitness Zone. When they broke up near the end of 1994, she and Camm “became more than friends,” she said.
They had occasional meetings and almost daily phone calls before Camm left his wife. After that, Neely and Camm saw each other “just about everyday.” Camm told her he was considering a divorce.
Neely described a visit she made to the Camm home one early afternoon in late November 1994 before the couple separated. Kimberly Camm arrived home unexpectedly, causing Neely to run out of the house without Kimberly seeing her. Camm told his wife that Neely’s Firebird parked in their driveway was an unmarked police car.
Later that day or the next, Camm told Neely his wife was expecting their second child. “It made me doubt any relationship with him at that point,” Neely said, adding that she was prepared to handle Camm’s daughter from a previous marriage and Bradley, who was still in diapers at the time.
Camm leased an apartment Nov. 22, 1994, and Neely and another woman leased one in the same complex less than two weeks later.
Sometime in early 1995, Neely went to her former boyfriend’s home late one night, and they talked until about 4:30 a.m. After Abbott left for work, Camm called Neely there and said they needed to talk.
When she got to Camm’s apartment, he was waiting outside and wanted to know why she had been at Abbott’s so long.
“He had his hands in his pockets,” she said. “He pulled them out and had a gun,” possibly a 9 mm. He told Neely, “I can end it all right here.”
Camm did not point the gun at her or himself, but held it near his stomach. “I wasn’t really scared he was going to do anything,” Neely said. “I guess I was a little startled.”
They went inside the apartment. Camm put away the gun, and they talked. Neely told Camm she thought it was best they didn’t see each other anymore. Neely said she was still bothered that Kimberly was pregnant.
Camm responded that he could go back to his wife because she still loved him.
Neely talked with Camm briefly at her work after she became engaged in November 1999. He congratulated her on the engagement. He called her again about 1-1/2 weeks before her wedding, which was Sept. 30, 2000. She told Camm she was busy at the moment and he could call her back, but he never called. Then two days before the wedding, Camm’s family was murdered.
Also taking the stand yesterday morning were three state troopers who related another incident, in November 1994, when Camm apparently lost his temper.
Trooper Hugh Couch said he took a phone call from Camm’s mother, who said she needed assistance with her son, who was “very angry and tearing up the inside of his house” after his wife left him.
Couch relayed the message to Monte McKee, a former Harrison County resident who was lieutenant at the ISP Sellersburg post then. McKee and Sgt. Dale Traughber went to the Camm home. McKee and Traughber testified that Camm let them in the house, where the three of them talked. Camm had broken a kitchen chair and made one or two holes in the kitchen/dining area. He told the men he was mad at himself and had lost his temper after he and his wife had argued “over the issue of another woman,” McKee said.
No one else was at the Camm home, and a report was not filed. “I had no reason to believe anything had occurred to warrant further investigation on my part,” McKee said.
On Monday afternoon, the start of week three of the trial, the jurors were taken to the Camm home to see where the victims were slain.
Five witnesses took the stand Monday morning before Floyd Superior Judge Richard Striegel recessed for lunch and made arrangements for the 12 jurors and three alternates to view the home on Lockhart Road.
ISP Det. Sean Clemons was recalled to the stand Monday morning and noted other routes Camm could have taken from the church gym to his home, but said police only timed and noted the distance of one route, the one Camm told them he took that evening. The distance was 2.4 miles.
And while there appears to be bleach stains on the deck, Clemons said he did not recall smelling bleach in the garage or on the defendant. The prosecution contends the killer used bleach to try to clean up the murder scene before police arrived.
Both the chief executive officer and switchboard operator for Aegon were called to testify about a phone call Camm placed the morning after the murders. William R. Gernert, the CEO, said he took the call after Nancy Stewart told him she believed the unidentified man calling in was David Camm.
Gernert said Camm sounded “calm, quiet, rational, logical, subdued” as he told him his wife wouldn’t be at work because she had been murdered, and asked that the company preserve any emails and voice mail messages she might have at work. He said the police may need them for leads in the investigation. Gernert told Camm he would have someone from human resources contact Camm about handling Kimberly’s benefits, such as 401(K) and life insurance, if there were any.
Lisa Sowders, who runs a crime scene clean-up business with her husband, told the jury about taking a pot roast to Camm’s parents’ home, where Camm asked her about cleaning his Ford Bronco, the vehicle where Jill Camm’s body was found. Camm never asked Sowders about cleaning the garage or inside of the home, she said.
The only other witness Monday was Kathy Doans, a forensic and sexual assault nurse at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in New Albany. Doans testified about collecting evidence from Camm a day or two after the murders.
Doans said Camm displayed “varied moods” during the 30 to 45 minutes it to collect pubic hairs, blood and hairs from Camm’s scalp.
On Friday, Kimberly Camm’s mother, Janice Renn, took the stand.
Renn talked about the Camms’ separation in 1994. Kimberly told her mother that David said he didn’t want to be married anymore. The couple reconciled about a month after Jill was born in February 1995.
“Kim said she wanted to give it a try, that she still loved him and wanted to make it work,” Renn said.
On Sept. 28, 2000, the last day Renn would see Kimberly and her grandchildren alive, Kimberly dropped off Bradley’s clothes, and Renn gave her daughter a piece of coffeecake to take with her to eat after she got to work. That afternoon, Renn picked up Bradley from school, took him for his allergy shot then to her house, where she had him change into his swim clothes, gave him a snack and had him do his homework.
Kimberly and Jill arrived between 5:30 and 5:40 p.m., after Jill’s dance class. Jill changed her clothes before the three of them left 10 to 15 minutes later. They went to Hazelwood Junior High School for Bradley’s swim practice.
Next to testify was Robert P. Steier, a sales representative/driver for Schwan’s. Steier said he took over the route that included the Camms about six or seven months prior to the murders. Steier said he dealt with Kimberly Camm most of the time when he stopped there every other week, but he had also talked with David four or five times.
According to Steier’s order sheet, Camm placed an order at 6:35 p.m. the evening of the murders, and had to get his checkbook out of his truck to pay for it. Steier said he did not see anyone else at the home. Camm was “dressed to play” basketball, Steier said.
Asked about the overhead garage doors, Steier said he was “almost positive” both doors were down.
The day ended with several neighbors testifying about what they remembered about the evening of the murders.
William Walters said he got home from work by 6:15 p.m. and was there about 45 minutes before leaving to put gas in his wife’s car. As he passed the Camm residence, he noticed the garage doors were down and the driveway was empty. On his way back home, he said he recalled the Camm residence looked the same as it did when he passed it earlier, but he was driving into the sun and couldn’t tell for sure if the overhead doors were up or down.
Two other neighbors said they didn’t see or hear anything outside their residences or the Camm home, but they did notice that a light that was “always on” inside the Camm home in the evenings was not on the night of the murders.
One of those was Debbie TerVree, Camm’s aunt, who also said the garage doors were down. TerVree had stopped at the end of the Camm driveway for a minute while she and her daughter tried to decide if anybody was home. They went on to their home, which is next to the Camms’, and arrived at 7:30 p.m. “If Kim was home, she normally left the door up,” TerVree said.
TerVree put her daughter to bed about 9 p.m., stayed with her 10 to 15 minutes, then retired to the family room, where she looked at a newspaper and watched the Olympics on TV. She later heard noises she thought might be her husband “banging on the desk or computer.” TerVree described the noises to Clemons the next day. During her testimony Friday, TerVree said she “never” said the sounds, at least two of them, sounded like gunshots but rather a “thumping” noise.
Also last week, most of the men who were playing basketball with Camm at the Georgetown Community Church gym during the evening of the murders took the stand. Seven of the 10 men took the stand last Wednesday. While their testimony differed about some precise details of that evening — such as the order they arrived, how long each game lasted and whether Camm sat out any games — they all claimed that Camm was at the gym by 7 p.m. and never left the building the entire evening, until they quit playing and left about 9:20 p.m.
Two men, Camm’s cousins — Jeff Lockhart, son of the Rev. Leland Lockhart, pastor of the Georgetown church, and his cousin, Phillip Lockhart — said they learned from the church’s security company that the alarm was reset at 9:22 p.m. It was Jeff Lockhart’s responsibility to unlock the gym for the group to play and to lock up when they were done.
He also said he knew Camm left the gym the same time as he did because he pulled his vehicle out of the parking lot directly behind Camm and followed him part of the way home.
Phillip Lockhart was asked about a conversation he had with Camm earlier in the summer of 2000, when he asked his cousin if he had been allowed to keep his duty weapon from when he was a state trooper. Camm told him no and said he no longer had any handguns, Lockhart said.
The prosecution wanted to know if Lockhart asked Camm why he had “all that ammunition” in his basement if he no longer owned a handgun. Lockhart replied, “No.”
During cross-examination, Lockhart told defense attorney Michael McDaniel of Lanesville he did not know if any of the ammo was outdated or what type there was in the house. Lockhart also said he never saw any pistols in Camm’s house before or after the murders.
Although Jeff Lockhart had drawn a diagram of the gym for the jurors, both the prosecution and defense agreed that it would be better if they saw it for themselves. After spending a short period of time in the courtroom Thursday morning, the jurors were taken to Georgetown, where they spent about 30 minutes inspecting the gym. The court then recessed for the day.
The trial is expected to last well into February.