Camm trial costs deflating Floyd County budget


by Karma Dickerson, C.J. Daniels (editor)

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 12:40 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 13 at 12:12 PM

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) – David Camm’s third murder trial is costing Floyd County, Indiana a staggering amount of money.

With another looming murder trial on the horizon, the costs associated with both are expected to cost the county more than $2 million by the end of the year.

The Camm trial is generating so many bills that the county auditor says he spends 10 percent of his time on that trial alone.

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Meanwhile, county officials are turning their budgets inside out to fund that trial. WHAS11 found at least one county project that may be pushed back.

Bridge to possible danger.

Time has taken its toll on bridge 506 in New Albany. In the 40 years Carolyn Ford has spend next to the small Pamela Drive crossing, she says she’s never seen it as bad as it is now and not just because it’s an eyesore.

“If a child comes through riding a bike and they slip and fall here in the creek, that’s what I’m worried about,” she said.

Ford was disappointed to hear that plans to replace the bridge may be pushed back a year if Floyd County moves $475,000 from the bridge budget to help fund what’s expected to be a $1.7 million trial.

County council members discussed on Monday the borrowing of money from different county departments to fund the line item devoted exclusively to the state’s third effort to convict David Camm of triple murder.

$1,686,289.79 is what County Auditor Scott Clark has budgeted for the trial. Barely a month into the trial, nearly $1.4 million of that has already been spent.

The special prosecutor and his staff are estimated at almost $170,000.  The judge and his staff are at $50,000 and other expenses including the jury at $40,000 but more than three quarters of the costs are Camm's defense.

Since 2010, the county has paid his lead attorney nearly $500,000 another attorney $166,000, $120,000 for a private detective and $56,000 to a famous criminologist.  But it's the heart of his defense, blood spatter experts from the Netherlands, that's driving up the bill.

The first two Camm trials drained the city's rainy day fund costing about $3 million.
Now as they scrape together resources for the third, they're also budgeting for the first of three trials for accused serial killer William Clyde Gibson. The first trial alone will cost about $400,000.

The hefty price paid by taxpayers is not lost on Kim Camm's parents. They say they regret the toll the Camm trials have taken on the community, but their position is simple:

“If it was your daughter, what would you do,” Janice Renn said.

To help cover the cost of the Camm trial, the recorders and auditor's office have offered $100,000 each to pay the bills.

The county council says a final decision will be made September 24th.