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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ind. Courts - "David Camm case gets special judge for third triple-murder trial"

Updating yesterday's ILB entry, today Ben Zion Hershberg of the Louisville Courier Journal has a full report. Some quotes:

The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed Spencer County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan A. Dartt as special judge to handle the David Camm triple-murder re-trial.

Camm's lawyers asked for the appointment of a special judge earlier this year, arguing that Warrick County Superior Court Judge Robert Aylsworth had taken longer than the statutory 30 days to rule on a request for a change of venue.The appointment, said Stacy Uliana, one of Camm's lawyers, "is what we asked for. We're pleased with the ruling, we're ready to move on." * * *

Camm has been found guilty twice of murdering his wife and their two young children in the garage of their Georgetown home in September 2000, but both verdicts have been overturned.

After the first trial, in Floyd County Superior Court in early 2002, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the verdict because, it said, a dozen women had been allowed to testify about affairs they'd had with Camm, a former state trooper, or being approached by him, biasing the jury.

The second trial was moved to Warrick County because of the intense publicity in Floyd County.

After Camm's second conviction and sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last summer that Henderson improperly had been allowed to argue that Camm murdered his family to cover up the alleged molestation of his 5-year-old daughter, inflaming the jury against Camm.

Henderson has said he plans to prosecute Camm again, acknowledging that trying such old cases can be difficult. * * *

Dartt has been a judge since last year, but he was Spencer County prosecutor for 10 years before being elected circuit court judge in 2008 and taking office in 2009.

The initial issues Dartt will have to deal with include defense requests for a change of venue and a change of prosecutor. The change of prosecutor motion was based on defense arguments that Henderson created a conflict of interest by agreeing last year -- before the second guilty verdict was overturned -- to write a book about the case.

Henderson has argued that there is no conflict because his book negotiations included language voiding any agreement if the verdict were overturned.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 13, 2010 10:16 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions