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Ex-trooper Camm’s $30 million lawsuit dismissed

January 31, 2018

A $30 million lawsuit brought by exoneree David Camm was dismissed Monday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in New Albany.

Camm was an Indiana State trooper from 1989 until his retirement in the spring of 2000. He was charged with and eventually acquitted of the murder of his wife, Kimberly, and their two children, Brad, 7, and Jill, 5, after multiple trials. Their bodies were discovered Sept. 28, 2000 in the garage of their Georgetown home.

Camm’s first trial began Jan. 7, 2002. It ended with his conviction March 17, 2002. However, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the conviction Aug. 10, 2004.

The following year, DNA evidence collected from a sweatshirt found at the scene unearthed a new suspect, Charles Boney. Camm and Boney were charged as co-conspirators, and the second trial began Jan. 16, 2006. The pair were found guilty, and Camm was sentenced to life without parole March 3, 2006. Camm’s second conviction was reversed and remanded by the Indiana Supreme Court on June 26, 2009.

Camm’s third trial began Aug. 12, 2013, and he was acquitted on all counts Oct. 24, 2013. In all, Camm spent 13 years behind bars, maintaining his innocence all the while.

In August 2016, Floyd County reached a $450,000 settlement with Camm covering the county and investigators who worked for its prosecutor's office.

In January 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court reprimanded Keith A. Henderson, the lead Floyd County prosecutor in the case against Camm, after he failed to recuse himself from the case. Days after a jury found Camm guilty during a second trial, Henderson entered into an agreement with a literary agent to write a book about the case. Then, when the Indiana Supreme Court reversed Camm’s convictions and remanded the case to a third trial, Henderson told the agent that he now had a “bigger story.” The book contract was eventually dropped.

Camm’s suit, filed Oct. 24, 2014, named more than 20 defendants and alleged malicious prosecution; due process violations; conspiracy to violate civil rights; a Monell v. Department of Social Services claim; and state law claims against the prosecutors, investigators and law enforcement officials involved.

The defendants each asserted their right to summary judgment because they believed there was sufficient evidence to charge Camm with murder, and maintained they were immune from liability.

Writing for the court, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt agreed with the defendants employed by the state that they are immune from liability for Camm’s Indiana tort claims pursuant to the Indiana Tort Claims Act. 

“Police investigators and prosecutors properly charged this individual with murder,” Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a statement Tuesday. “I hope the dismissal of this lawsuit helps assure our brave officers that both state and federal laws protect them whenever they are discharging their duties in good faith.”

 

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