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Blood Spatter Analysis

1753 words - 8 pages

Analyzing blood spatter at crime scene is a science that has developed significantly over the last 20 years. David Camm was arrested for the murder of his wife and two children in 2000. Several blood spatter specialist would be called to the stand to testify on the blood spatter evidence that was found in the crime scene with varying results. Most notably, Robert Stites, a blood spatter analyst from Portland Oregon credentials and capability would be called into question many times. Experience, knowledge and credibility of the blood spatter analyst as well as the blood evidence found at the scene led to overturning the conviction of David Camm.
David Camm was an Indiana State Trooper who arrived home in September 2000 to find his wife and two children shot dead in their car. David Camm had been playing basketball with family and friends in a church gym, as he did every week. He left the church around 9:17pm, drove home, discovered the bodies and called the police in a span of 12 minutes. David’s wife, Kimberly, and their children, 5-year-old daughter Jill, and 7-year-old son Brad were at swim class until 7 p.m before they arrived home (Fisher, 2013). David Camm became the police’s prime suspect almost immediately. The police theorized “that Camm had arrived home at 9:22, killed his family, disposed of the gun (it has not been recovered), cleaned up the crime scene, then called 911” (Fisher, 2013). However, upon closer examination of the crime scene, specifically the blood spatter, the police’s theory did not add up. A pool of blood in the driveway was coagulated and this suggested that the murder did not happen recently. Therefore, if the murder did not happen after Camm came home from playing basketball then he had an air tight alibi. The police and prosecutor quickly changed their hypothesis and speculated that he must have killed his family prior to leaving to go play basketball to align themselves with the crime scene evidence. David Camm was charged with the murder of his wife and two children.
Over the next 13 years, there would be three trials before David Camm would be freed in October 2013. His first trial began in 2002 and ended with his conviction. The blood spatter analysis of the crime scene and of David Camm’s shirt would be hotly debated. The jurors of this trial stated that their verdict was largely based on the expert testimony of the blood spatter analyst (Kozarovich, Expert: Camm's Story Matches Evidence, 2006). Robert Stites was “a blood spatter analyst from Portland, Oregon who testified that eight tiny bloodstains on the defendant's t-shirt had come from spray made by the bullet fired into his daughter's head” (Fisher, 2013). Camm stated when he arrived home and discovered his family was shot in their Ford Bronco; he reached over his daughter to reach his son whom he thought might still have been alive. He carried his son out of the car and began to administer CPR (Kozarovich, Expert: Camm's Story Matches Evidence,...

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