Lebanon Reporter

September 25, 2013

Defense takes over in Camm murder trial

By Maureen Hayden
CNHI Statehouse Bureau

Lebanon — LEBANON — As the high-profile murder trial of David Camm stretched into its fifth week, attorneys for the former state trooper accused of killing his wife and children opened their defense by slowly deconstructing the case against their client, forcing a former key prosecution witness to admit he’d lied about his expertise.

On the witness stand Tuesday, Portland State University research assistant Robert Stites said it was a “dumb thing” to do when he pretended to be a crime scene expert during the investigation into the September 2000 deaths.

Stites’ error-riddled notes, and his speculation about how the killings occurred in Camm’s garage in Georgetown ended up in the probable cause affidavit used to arrest Camm on the day of his wife’s and children’s funerals.

“In hindsight, I would have kept my mouth shut,” said Stites, who was forced by the defense to admit a litany of mistakes and falsehoods he made during the investigation and two subsequent trials in which Camm was convicted, but later saw those verdicts overturned.

Camm, who resigned from the Indiana State Police four months before he was arrested on murder charges, is being tried for the third time for killing his wife, Kim, and their two children, Brad, 7, and Jill, 5. The trial is being held in Boone County, north of Indianapolis. A special prosecutor and judge have been assigned to the case.

See Tuesday's Lebanon Reporter for more on this story.