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Prosecutor can stay for new Camm trial

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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