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Prosecutor can stay for new Camm trial

January 19, 2011

A special judge in Southern Indiana has ruled that the prosecutor who handled the first two triple murder trials of former state trooper David Camm can stay on to handle the third.

On Jan. 7, Special Judge Jon Dartt from Spencer Circuit Court ruled that Floyd County prosecutor Keith Henderson can continue on as the prosecuting attorney in the case against David Camm, a former Indiana state trooper who’s on trial for a third time in the murder of his wife and two young children.

The Indiana Supreme Court overturned his first two convictions, most recently in 2009. That was after Henderson discussed writing a book about the Camm trials, and the prosecutor later said that he pulled out of the book deal once the justices ordered a new trial. But defense attorneys argued it was an ethics violation for Henderson to continue in the case because of that one-time deal.

Special Judge Dartt disagreed and denied the motion for a special prosecutor, saying the book agreement was cancelled after the guilty verdict in the second trial was overturned. The judge also ruled that the defense can attempt to obtain the manuscript from any “non-party” to this case, referencing Henderson’s claims that he does not possess any copies but that the publisher does. The court said that any manuscript the defense might obtain must be kept sealed and confidential unless the court orders otherwise.

Camm’s attorneys said they plan to appeal the decision on the prosecutor change, but no appeal was docketed with the Indiana Court of Appeals at Indiana Lawyer deadline.

Once the case gets to trial, Special Judge Dartt will preside. He decided last summer not to change venue from Warrick County, but jurors will be brought in from outside the county. No date for trial has been set.

Rehearing "Disagreements plague Camm case" IL Sept. 1-14, 2010

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