Floyd County feels burden of $5M price tag on Camm trials

David Camm
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For the first time, we're seeing the evidence the jury saw to decide former Indiana State Trooper David Camm was not guilty of murdering his family.

The evidence was put on display for the media to view. It includes crime scene photos, the shirt Camm wore the night of the killings, a gun similar to the one used in the shootings and courtroom display boards. In all, 500 exhibits were entered in the trial by both sides.

The trial was held in Boone County, but paid for by Floyd County, where the crime happened. Residents there are talking about the verdict, and its financial burden on them.

When David Camm exited the Boone County Courthouse Thursday, his 13-year, three-trial legal odyssey may have thrust the state into a new fiscal reality.

The price tag for the three trials is estimated at $4.5 to $5 million. Floyd County has already exhausted its rainy day fund of $3 million for the first two trials. Now it has to find the money to pay for the third.

"Five million is over the top. We ought to get some help from somewhere," said Katrina Pate from New Albany.

Rita Marking, another Floyd County Resident agreed.

"We have no choice. We have to pay for it. If Floyd County is going under, that's it," she said.

Governor Mike Pence was in Floyd County Friday. We asked him if the state might consider stepping in to help financially.

"If local officials and legislators have a desire to find additional resources for the counties affected by these three trials, we will give that due consideration," he stated.

Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard says the state has moved toward covering more of the costs. In fact, the state does reimburse 40 percent of the Public Defender expenses to the counties involved and the state Supreme Court also has a retrial fund.

"It is a modest one. Just $50,000 for a single trial but it is recognition that a county can sometimes get hurt by expenses for a trial they don't have any control over," Shepard observed.

To make matters worse Floyd County is also in the midst of the William Clyde Gibson serial murder case that could result in multiple death penalty trials, pushing its legal expenses even higher.

Again, Katrina Pate wondered if the state could play a greater role.

"I wonder about it. I wonder what they can do to get assistance with state government. Maybe that would be the thing to do," she said.

Rita Marking believes David Camm should also play a greater role.

"If Dave is found innocent now he comes back with insurance money. Let's let him pay for part of it," she said.

It's going to take some time to add up all the receipts. One expense that could get close scrutiny is the blood splatter expert from the Netherlands.