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Monday, September 30, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "$1.1 million David Camm trial strapping Floyd County budget"

That is the headline to this new Louisville Courier Journal story by Grace Schneider. Some quotes from the lengthy story:

Midway through David Camm’s third murder trial, Floyd County officials are fretting about the estimated $1.1 million it will cost a community already struggling with depleted county coffers.

“We’re in dire straits,” said Dana Fendley, vice president of the county council, who added that officials may have to arrange a loan to avoid sinking into the red before the year ends.

In all, the county’s tally for all Camm-related trials and expenses since 2000 will exceed $4.4 million by the end of 2013, based on an analysis of records and estimates of final trial expenses calculated by county auditor Scott Clark. * * *

Camm has been convicted twice in the deaths of his wife Kim, 35, son Brad, 7, and daughter Jill, 5, but both times the convictions were overturned. The combined cost of both trials was $1.9 million

The trial of Charles Boney, a New Albany man now serving 225 years in the killings, cost about $80,100. Camm’s and Boney’s appeals have run up the tab.

So far this year, the county has spent more than $970,000 on Camm’s third trial, with three-quarters of that going to his defense.

The bills include security provided by the sheriff’s office, juror’s pay and lunches, expert witnesses and hotel rooms for the defense and prosecution teams in Boone County, where the trial was moved to ensure an untainted jury.

Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills, who has had to send deputies to Boone County to provide security at the trial, said many residents question why its Floyd’s responsibility. “It’s our trial,” Mills said. “It’s not Boone County’s just because it’s been moved there.”

The prosecution tab has been inflated because Camm’s defense team — led now by Indianapolis-based lawyer Richard Kammen — succeeding in getting Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson kicked off the case.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in late 2011 that Henderson’s decision to forge a book deal on the case while Camm’s second conviction was still under appeal posed a conflict of interest that warranted his removal.

Evansville’s Stan Levco, the former Vanderburgh County prosecutor, was appointed last year as special prosecutor. Floyd would not have had to pay for Henderson and his office to handle the case, but the county must now pay special prosecutor fees.

Levco has been paid $105,012 since he took over last year. Henderson said through a spokeswoman Friday that he won’t comment about the Camm case while the third trial is under way. He has said in the past that he disagreed with his removal from the case and has been frustrated by the resulting additional expense for Floyd County.

The largest amount paid this year — $724,747 — has gone to Camm lawyers Kammen and Stacy Uliana — and the consultants and contractors they’ve hired to help them present their case.

Of the payments to six forensic experts and laboratories enlisted by the defense, the largest chunk, $257,533, has gone to Netherlands-based Independent Forensics Services. Its owner and lead scientist Richard Eikelenboom testified at a pre-trial hearing Aug. 1 that his firm had found skin cells from Boney on Kim Camm’s underwear and at other locations at the murder scene.

The new evidence wasn’t included in previous trials because of advances in DNA recovery methods, and it could bolster Camm’s lawyers’ assertion that Boney was the sole killer.

Eikelenboom’s bill submitted to Floyd in April for $101,710 includes $87,900 for work on DNA samples. Additional billings are expected for travel and the scientist’s time on the witness stand.

The county also has paid $56,000 to Austin, Texas-based criminologist Darcy Kim Rossmo, whom the defense hired to review police and Boney’s depositions. A bill Aug. 2 details a “reference list on thinking errors in criminal investigations” prepared for defense lawyers.

The prosecution’s costs so far this year have been $143,794. But Clark said he expects more claims from Levco. Among recent payments for the prosecution was $16,600 to University of Louisville forensic pathologists for conducting a new examination of autopsies performed after the killings.

Clark, the auditor, said that based on the prior billings, he’s estimated $183,993 in additional expenses for finishing the trial, but that doesn’t include the cost of preparing a trial transcript.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 30, 2013 09:00 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts | Indiana Government