Here's Why David Camm's Murder Conviction Was Overturned

On the evening of September 28, 2000, Kimberly Camm took her two children, 7-year-old Bradley and 5-year-old Jill, to swimming practice. As reported by Investigating Innocence, Kimberly left the swimming facility with her children at approximately 7:00 p.m. and said she was going straight home. At approximately 9:30 p.m. that same evening, Kimberly's husband David returned home from playing basketball at the Georgetown Community Church in Indiana. When he walked into the garage, he made a grisly discovery. His wife, Kimberly, was slumped on the floor near the front passenger door of the car. His daughter Jill, who was still strapped into her car seat, was unresponsive, and his son Bradley was laying on the floor of the garage (via IndyStar). All three were covered in blood.

IDS reports David Camm, who was a retired Indiana State Police trooper, attempted to perform CPR on Bradley, who he thought might still be alive. However, it was simply too late — his entire family was dead. David contacted authorities immediately, stating that someone killed his wife and children in the garage of their home. It was ultimately determined that all three were shot to death. In the days following the incident, WAVE3 reports David made a public plea for any information about the murder of his family. However, on October 1, 2000, David was arrested and charged with three counts of murder.

He was arrested and charged with killing his wife and children

David Camm vehemently denied any involvement in the deaths of his wife and children. As reported by Investigation Innocence, the 11 people he played basketball with on the evening his family was killed also corroborated his alibi. However, authorities believed blood stains on Camm's shirt, which he was wearing when they arrived, implicated him in the shootings. After a preliminary examination, they concluded the bloodstain pattern indicated he was wearing the shirt when he shot his wife and two children.

As reported by IDS, authorities noted that instead of calling 911, Camm called the state trooper post where he was previously employed. They also found it unusual that Camm only attempted to perform CPR on his son. Camm's demeanor in the days following the loss of his family was also called into question, as he did not cry in public. WAVE3 reports Camm was ultimately convicted on three counts of murder and sentenced to 195 years in prison on April 11, 2002.

David Camm's conviction was overturned on appeal

David Camm was transported to the Indiana State Prison, where he remained in protective custody. However, on August 10, 2004, the state Court of Appeals overturned Camm's conviction. As reported by WAVE3, the court determined testimony about Camm's past, including affairs with other women, should not have been allowed during his trial. Three months later, Camm posted a $20,000 bond and was released on house arrest.

The Floyd County prosecutor vowed to refile murder charges against Camm. However, DNA evidence found at the scene implicated another man in the brutal slayings. WAVE3 reports authorities recovered a sweatshirt from the Camm's garage with the name "Backbone" printed on the collar. Forensic testing revealed that DNA on the shirt belonged to Kimberly Camm and a man named Charles Darnell Boney, whose nickname was "Backbone." Investigation Innocence reports authorities also confirmed a handprint on the door of the vehicle Kimberly was driving belonged to Boney.

Boney was called in for questioning about the murders. However, he initially denied any involvement and insisted he never met David Camm or his family. 

David Camm was tried a second time with a co-defendant

After hours of questioning, Charles Boney eventually claimed he and David Camm met and became friends while playing basketball together at a community park. As reported by Investigating Innocence, Boney said as he and Camm got to know each other, Camm asked him if he had access to a gun. According to Boney, he sold Camm the gun he later used to kill his wife and children. Boney denied being present when the crime was committed and said his sweatshirt was in the garage because the gun was wrapped in the shirt when he gave it to Camm.

Although the Floyd County prosecutor initially filed new charges against Camm, the charges were dropped when Boney was arrested. However, Camm was not off the hook. Instead, WAVE3 reports prosecutors filed new charges against Camm and announced he and Boney would be tried together on three counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. The trials were ultimately separated when Camm's trial was moved to a different county.

His second conviction was also overturned

During David Camm's second trial, prosecutors once again introduced the blood spatter evidence on the shirt he was wearing and included the testimony of three inmates who said Camm confessed to killing his family while he was incarcerated. The prosecution also suggested Camm killed his family to cloak the fact that he was sexually abusing his 5-year-old daughter. On March 3, 2006, the University of Michigan reports Camm was once again found guilty of three counts of murder. He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Three years later, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned Camm's second conviction, as they determined the prosecution's speculation about sexual abuse should not have been introduced. The case was ultimately scheduled for a third trial. During Camm's third trial, which was held in yet another county, prosecutors were not able to introduce any speculation that Camm sexually abused his daughter. The University of Michigan reports Charles Boney was an integral part of the third trial, as he testified that he was, in fact, present when the murders were committed. Prosecutors also introduced evidence that Boney's DNA was found under Kimberly Camm's fingernails.

At the conclusion of his third trial, Camm was found not guilty. He was subsequently released and later awarded a settlement of $450,000 from Floyd County and $4.6 million from the State of Indiana.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

David Camm shares his theory about the night his family was killed

In a 2018 interview, David Camm opened up about his wrongful conviction and what he thinks really happened the evening his wife and children were killed. As reported by WDRB, Camm said he is certain Charles Boney committed the brutal murders. However, he is unsure whether he acted alone.

Camm said, "I believe that his girlfriend, Mala Singh Mattingly, was there also, I say that based upon evidence — evidence that is factually documented, sworn testimony that says that she was there." Although prosecutors were adamant that Camm and Boney committed the murders together, Camm said he did not know the other man and had "never heard the name Charles Boney" prior to boney's arrest.

WDRB reports Camm and Boney were eventually housed in the same correctional facility. Camm said, "You know ... I'm looking at the person that killed my family. He obviously has no remorse ... he was sitting there looking at me and he was nodding his head ... And I took that to mean him telling me, 'Yeah, I killed your family, and now I am going to take you out too.'"

Camm said he was cautiously optimistic about his third trial. However, when he finally heard the verdict, he was overwhelmed — but happy — to be a free man after 13 years.