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Camm's attorneys seek special judge

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Defense attorneys for the former state trooper facing a third triple-murder trial want the Indiana Supreme Court to name a special judge because of what they say are delays from the current presiding judge.

The June 8 request comes in David R. Camm v. State of Indiana, No. 87S00-1006-SJ-00301, which asks the state justices to appoint a special judge because Warrick Superior Judge Robert Aylsworth has failed to rule on a venue change motion within 30 days, as required. Attorneys filed the change of venue motion earlier this year, asking that the case be moved outside Warrick County where the second murder trial occurred to a location in northern Indiana – specifically to avoid media exposure they say prevents their client from obtaining a fair trial.

Camm has twice been convicted of murdering his wife and their two young children in September 2000 at their Georgetown home. But those convictions have been overturned, most recently by the Indiana Supreme Court in June 2009, and Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson – prosecuting based on where the murders happened – decided last year that he’d try Camm a third time.

Judge Aylsworth has been considering whether to allow the trial to move, after sending 200 questionnaires to potential jurors to determine how much they might be influenced by media coverage. Both sides disagree about what the surveys show, and Camm’s attorneys filed a motion to grant the venue change April 21; the state objected April 30 and Camm filed a response May 6. But after 33 days, the judge hadn’t ruled or set a hearing as required by Trial Rule 53.1 and attorneys filed a “lazy judge” motion. Attorneys had previously asked that Henderson be removed as prosecutor, but that didn’t happen. If a special judge is appointed, that jurist would likely decide on the defense motions and then also handle the trial if it’s moved outside the county.

The Indiana Supreme Court had not issued a decision on the special judge request by IL deadline, according to the online appellate docket for this case.•

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