HILLSBORO — Murder suspect James Carver, charged in the Feb. 17 shooting death and rape of his girlfriend, Heather Camp, refused a plea deal during a status hearing Friday in Highland County Common Pleas Court.
Carver, 40, of New Vienna, was indicted April 2 for murder, rape, having weapons under disability, domestic violence, and tampering with evidence.
Judge Rocky Coss questioned attorneys on both sides of the case Friday regarding witness selection for the trial, now set for Monday, Aug. 5, with Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins telling the court that 15 witnesses were prepared to testify for the prosecution, while defense attorney John Cornely indicated he had two defense witnesses.
Cornely also told the court that his client had rejected the offer of a plea deal in his case, with Coss saying, “Today is the day,” and adding that his court “doesn’t do plea bargains” on the day of the trial.
Coss also advised counsel for both sides to have any evidence in the case into the court by Friday, Aug. 2 so that computer entry could be made and any necessary media for display of evidence could be acquired prior to trial.
According to court documents, Carver allegedly shot Camp on Feb. 17 and then refused to take her to the hospital for treatment, even going to Frisch’s in Hillsboro to eat before taking her to a residence in Greenfield.
Officials said at the time that she was pronounced dead two days later when an acquaintance took her to the Greenfield Area Medical Center.
According to a coroner’s office investigator, Camp’s body had extensive facial bruising, which would indicate repeated physical trauma in the days leading up to her death.
As previously reported, Carver was arrested on the evening of Feb. 21 at a residence in Dayton after a three-day manhunt.
Carver has a long criminal record, having been convicted of more than 30 offenses in Clinton County and Highland County courts with the list including aggravated assault, attempted abduction, domestic violence, receiving stolen property, disorderly conduct, assault and endangering children.
Police said that Carver was on parole from Missouri at the time of the killing.
He is currently incarcerated at the Highland County Jail on a $1 million bond.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.