A former Indiana State Trooper, David Camm faced three murder trials and served 13 years in prison for the deaths of his wife and two children, only to be exonerated in 2013.
On September 28, 2000, former Indiana State trooper David Camm came home from playing basketball to a horrifying sight: His wife, Kim, and their two young children had been shot to death in the garage of their Indiana home.
But after calling the police, Camm became the prime suspect in this grisly murder case. The evidence seemed stacked against Camm, who was found with blood on his shirt and proven to have had multiple extramarital affairs.
Camm would go on to face three murder trials and serve 13 years in prison. But it would eventually come out that investigators had failed to properly examine key pieces of evidence that would point to a different suspect.
This is the story of David Camm’s wrongful conviction — and how he was finally exonerated.
The Shocking Murder Of David Camm’s Family
David Camm lived in Georgetown, Indiana, a sleepy suburb of Louisville, Kentucky. In 1989, he married Kimberly Renn, and they had two children: Bradley, seven; and Jill, five. He had worked as a State trooper for about 10 years and seemed from the outside to have a happy marriage with a pleasant family life.
On the night of the murders, Camm said he left the house to play basketball at a nearby church around 7 p.m. He claimed he came home later that night to find his wife and two young children shot dead in the family’s garage.
Around 9:30 p.m, he called his former police post to report the attack. This raised suspicion. Why hadn’t he called 911?
“My thought process first was, ‘These are my people’,” Camm told WDRB News in 2013. “I needed help.”
Kim, 35, and Jill had both been shot in the head. Kim was found on the garage floor in her underwear, her shoes and socks removed and carefully placed on the roof of the vehicle. This would later become significant evidence in the case.
But Bradley was draped over the back seat of the family’s Ford Bronco as if he had been trying to get away from the assailant. He had been shot in the chest.
Camm said he had taken Bradley out of the car to try to resuscitate him because he believed he was still alive. In doing so, he inadvertently contaminated the crime scene. Police arrived to find a distraught Camm with small droplets of blood on his shirt, which prosecutors later alleged proved he pulled the trigger.
Three days later, Camm was arrested and charged with the murders of his wife and children.
The First Trial Of David Camm
During the first trial, almost a dozen women testified that Camm had had affairs with or propositioned them during his marriage.
According to IDS News. prosecutors argued that blood spatter on his shirt and his history of infidelity were proof that Camm had killed his family.
They suggested that he had sat out one basketball game, ran home and committed the murders, then returned to the church without anyone noticing.
The state also alleged that Camm had molested Jill, though there was little evidence supporting this. The medical examiner had simply said that Jill had experienced “blunt force trauma” to the genitals sometime within the 24 hours leading up to her death, but failed to prove that David Camm had caused it.
But the 11 basketball players Camm had played with that night testified that they had not seen him leave the gym, had not seen any blood spatter on his shirt, and hadn’t noticed any odd behavior.
Despite Camm’s strong alibi, in 2002 he was found guilty of murdering his family and sentenced to 195 years in prison.
But Camm successfully appealed, and two years later the state supreme court overturned the conviction, saying there wasn’t enough evidence that his affairs were the motive.
New Evidence Emerges, But Camm Is Convicted Again
In 2000, a sweatshirt containing the DNA of an unknown male had been found at the crime scene. But the prosecution neglected to have it tested leading up to Camm’s first murder trial.
In 2005, the DNA was finally tested — and found to match an 11-time convicted felon named Charles Boney. Boney’s troubles with the law had begun in Bloomington, Indiana, where Herald Times reports he had become known as the “Shoe Bandit.” Notably, Boney was known to have a foot fetish and a history of attacking women and stealing their shoes.
Soon, it was found that Boney had also left a hand print on the Camms’ Ford Bronco, placing him at the scene of the crime. But even though this new evidence strongly suggested that Boney had been involved in the murders, Camm and Boney were tried as co-conspirators, with Boney testifying that he only came to the Camms’ home to sell David a gun — which David swiftly turned on his family.
Boney was convicted and sentenced to 225 years in prison. But that didn’t mean Camm was safe.
In Camm’s second trial, which overlapped with Boney’s, prosecutors alleged that Kim had discovered her husband had molested Jill, and that he killed his family to cover it up.
Kim’s friends testified that she had been upset in the weeks before the murders, but the defense argued that she had not told anyone that she was upset with her husband and that she had recently remodeled their bedroom, the News and Tribune reported.
Crime scene reconstructionists hired by the prosecution testified that Jill’s blood on Camm’s shirt was from high-velocity blood spatter, which could only have come from his being within four feet of her at the time she was murdered, CBS reports. But several experts testified that the blood could have come from accidentally brushing against Jill after she died.
The jury found Camm guilty. News and Tribune reported that afterward, the jury said they’d been convinced by the expert testimony from a forensic pediatrician with the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office, who claimed Jill had been molested by her father. David Camm was sentenced to life without parole.
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2009, saying that the prosecution biased the jury by alleging Camm molested his daughter without sufficient evidence to tie the crime to Camm. They ordered a third trial. It would be David Camm’s last.
The Third And Final Trial That Ended With David Camm’s Acquittal
For the third trial, prosecutors alleged that David Camm’s motive was life insurance policies that Kim had recently taken out on the family.
Charles Boney was brought in to testify. He said that on the evening of Sept. 28, 2000, he was lured to the Camm house to meet David to sell him a gun. But when Kim and the children drove into the driveway, Boney said, Camm walked up to the vehicle and shot all three.
Boney claimed Camm then handed Boney the gun and said, “You did this.”
Boney also claimed that, in his panic, he had tripped over Kim’s shoes and placed them on the roof, and that he leaned into the car to check on the children, which was why his handprint was left on the car. He claimed he never touched any of the victims.
The defense found that one expert the prosecution had previously brought in as a blood spatter expert had embellished his credentials, IndyStar reported, throwing doubt on claims that the pattern of blood on David Camm’s clothes implied he pulled the trigger.
Further DNA testing showed “touch” DNA from Boney on Jill Camm’s shirt, as well as on Kim Camm’s shirt, underwear, feet, and under her fingernails, invalidating Boney’s claims that he never touched them. Tests also showed Kim’s DNA on the sweatshirt Boney had left at the scene of the crime.
On October 24, 2013, David Camm was found not guilty on all charges and allowed to walk free.
The Aftermath Of The Camm Murder Trials
David Camm served a total of 13 years in prison before he was finally acquitted. Charles Boney, who is still serving out his 225-year sentence, still alleges that Camm was the shooter. Kim’s parents, Frank and Janice Renn, agree.
The Renns filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Camm, but they later dropped it in 2014.
After his acquittal, David Camm sued Floyd County and the state of Indiana for $30 million. He settled with Floyd County for $450,000, and in 2022, Camm was awarded $4.6 million in damages from the state for malicious prosecution and wrongful imprisonment. The trials are believed to have cost Floyd County more than $4 million before the civil settlement.
“The bottom line is, those trials were not fair,” David Camm told WDRB News in 2018. “They heard evidence that they should not have heard, and that’s why the higher courts overturned those convictions.”
After learning about David Camm, read about Ryan Ferguson, who served nearly 10 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Then, meet Donald Marshall Jr., the Indigenous Canadian man who spent 11 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder.