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The Alibi: Reasonable Doubt

When their son-in-law David Camm was arrested, Janice and Frank Renn couldn’t believe it.

"I just couldn't believe that the person I knew, thought I knew, could do that," says Kim's mother, Janice Renn.

But in the 15 months between the killings and the start of Camm’s trial, the Renns have become convinced that their son-in-law is a murderer.

“There’s no way you’re going to bring the kids back and my daughter back,” says Kim's mother, Frank Renn. “No way, no matter what they do with David. But he’ll have to suffer, when he dies - if it’s soon or if it’s 40 years from now - he’s got to answer to God.

The murders of Kim, Brad and Jill Camm have gripped this small Indiana town. And as the trial begins, defense attorney Michael McDaniel knows all eyes are on the courthouse, and on his client.

“Right now, David is the only one out there that they can punish,” says McDaniel.

"My life is on the line," says Camm. "I'm not just fighting for me, it's not just me, I want justice for my wife and my children."

David Camm and his supporters believe they have a strong hand to play in court. Eleven witnesses put him at the gymnasium at the time of the murders.

With all those witnesses, prosecutor Stan Faith has a lot of talking to do to convince a jury Camm could have committed the murders.

His first theory was that Camm committed the murders between 9:23 and 9:30 p.m., minutes before he called police.

But McDaniel says that blood in the driveway, which had coagulated and separated before police arrived, proves the family was murdered much earlier.

"These folks had to be killed couple hours before David got home, or would've been killed while he was playing basketball," says McDaniel.

Then Faith discovered evidence that challenged the theory that the murder happened at 9:30 p.m., and putting Camm at home two hours earlier.

Faith has a phone record that proves Camm made a call from his house at 7:19, placing him at the scene at a time Faith now believes the murders were probably committed.

"We have a piece of evidence that's objective and it's recorded that indicates that he was in the house before 7:30 p.m. and gives a precise time," says Faith.

It's a phone record that Faith says proves Camm made a business call to a contact from his house at 7:19 p.m., just a few minutes before Kim and the kids arrived at home.

But if Faith is correct, Camm would have to have left the basketball game less than 15 minutes after arriving.

Yet all 11 witnesses say he was at the basketball game that started at 7:15 p.m., and that there was no way he could have made that phone call.

Faith, however, says phone records don’t lie. "This means that everybody out there is mistaken and lying. They didn't see him leave," says Faith. "He was gone long enough to have accomplished this and come back. It is objective and they are not."

It seems hard to believe, but five weeks after the surprise 7:19 p.m. phone call was introduced, defense attorney McDaniel dropped his own bombshell. He discovered that the phone company has trouble telling time.

"What you had was an hour's difference between real time and the time that appeared on the phone records," says McDaniel.

As it turns out, it all appears to be a huge mistake. Indiana is one of two states that has two different time zones. Camm’s home is in one time zone, but his cell phone company's computers are in another time zone.

A phone company employee testified that a glitch in the computer's computer resulted in an incorrect time on the bill - and that David's phone call was actually placed at 6:19 p.m., well before his family returned home.

No longer able to rely on the phone call, Faith had one more card to play. He says he has scientific evidence, tiny droplets of blood on David's T-shirt and sneaker, that removes any reasonable doubt.

Crime scene reconstructionist Rod Englert of Portland, Ore., believes that every blood stain tells a story. He says high velocity blood splatter, blood that has been hit by something going very fast, like a bullet, is the key to solving this murder mystery.

Englert, who was hired by the prosecution in the Camm case, examined the T-shirt David wore the night of the murders. He found eight tiny dots, which he identified as high-velocity blood spatter.

“This is so unique and so separate from other stains that one can say with confidence, that this is from high velocity mist that the person got on him and would have to be within four feet of the shots when they were fired,” says Englert.

He also found smudged droplets of Kim's blood on David's sneakers, which he says are consistent with high-velocity mist.

"The shooter had to be facing her left side," says Englert, who believes Kim's hand could have splattered her own blood as she fell to the floor. "Because the shot is through the left side of her head, it exits out the right and then what happens when you're shot through the brain? You're bleeding, you're dropping blood and it's hitting the concrete, and as you go down, you strike that."

This was enough to convince Frank Renn of his son-in-law's guilt. “It's going to be proven it was on his shirt. And that told me right then that David did it. There's no more doubt in my mind that David did it."

But David's family still has a lot of doubt.

"Blood spatter is not an exact science, and their expert admitted two experts can disagree," says David's sister, Julie Camm. "You have a 50/50 chance of having the right answer. That's reasonable doubt."

Defense attorney McDaniel has his own expert, who claims those tiny dots were transferred onto Camm’s shirt while he was moving around the bloody crime scene, after his family was murdered.

"He's given his conclusions that there isn't any high-velocity blood spatter on the front of David's T-shirt," says McDaniel. "There isn't any impact on his shoes or socks."

Now, the jurors have to decide what to believe - eight spots of blood that prove David Camm did it or the 11 witnesses who say he couldn’t have committed the crime.

After two days of deliberations, the jury is still out. Both families are feeling the stress.

"I'm a little surprised by the whole thing. I thought it'd be two to four hours and it's gonna be two to four days," says Frank Renn, Kim's father.

"I've never been through anything like this before," says Sam Lockhart, David's uncle. "We didn't know what to expect."

Three days after they began deliberating, the jury reaches a verdict – guilty. David Camm is now a convicted murderer.

"They painted this small portion of a picture of my brother and they got a conviction based on that," says David's sister, Julie.

“You just sent an innocent man to jail,” screams David's brother, Donnie, at the jury outside the courthouse. “There’s a predator loose and it’s your fault, all 12 or 15 of you!”

Juror Judy Price says the deliberations were “the most gut-wrenching experience I have ever experienced in my entire life.”

When deliberations started, jurors say, the vote was 8 to 4 in favor of convicting Camm. In just a few hours, it was 10 to 2.

That’s where things got stuck – and ugly. Some jurors say they were crying, others were yelling.

"I wanted so bad to find him not guilty," says Price, one of the last holdouts.

The biggest obstacle to a guilty verdict was the testimony of the basketball players, says juror Ruth Caruso. “But when when you start breaking down to each person’s testimony, it’s all different. They each said different things.”

But in the end, the jurors came to believe Camm had the opportunity - and a motive.

“He might have been molesting his little girl,” says Caruso.

Even though Camm was never charged with molesting Jill, that allegation weighed heavily on jurors’ minds.

But Price was still troubled by the evidence the other jurors found compelling - those eight tiny drops of blood.

“The more I think about it now, the more I think he did [molest the child],” says Price. She was troubled by the blood spatter until another juror whom she had come to trust, won her over with an impassioned argument.

"I think we feel a little bit relieved now, a little bit satisfied with the results," says Frank Renn, Kim's father.

The Renns got the verdict they hoped for, but they’ll never get what they want more than anything.

"We still don't have the kids back, we never will, and we don't have Kim back in our family, and that can't be changed," says Kim's sister, Debbie. "At least he's not out."

But pain and anger will always be here for the Camm family, who still insist David is innocent despite the jury's decision. They vow to appeal the verdict.

"An innocent man is being sent to prison," says David's sister, Julie.
"This is just a delay. We're not quitting. I wanna find out who killed those kids and Kim. And we're not going to quit until we do or we die."

David Camm was sentenced to 195 years in prison - 65 years for each of the three murders, with no chance of parole.

Since 48 Hours Mystery first reported on this story, Camm has hired a new lawyer to appeal his conviction. His family still stands by him.

Also, Indiana state police say that from the start of this mystery, the last thing they wanted to believe was that one of their own could have committed the crime. But they say they checked out every possible lead. And despite his alibi, everything kept pointing back to their former colleague, David Camm.

Return to Part 1: Disturbing the Peace

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