Highland County murder suspect gets new attorney


Wagoner, Armintrout withdraw; no polygraph in murder case

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



This photo, taken earlier this year, shows attorneys J.D. Wagoner, left, and Bill Armintrout, right, with James Carver at a hearing in Hillsboro Municipal Court. Both attorneys have withdrawn from the case.

This photo, taken earlier this year, shows attorneys J.D. Wagoner, left, and Bill Armintrout, right, with James Carver at a hearing in Hillsboro Municipal Court. Both attorneys have withdrawn from the case.


Two lawyers assigned to represent a New Vienna man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend withdrew from the case on Wednesday and a state public defender was appointed to take over; meanwhile, the county prosecuting attorney said she will not agree to a lie detector test for the defendant.

James Carver, 40, New Vienna, is charged with a litany of criminal violations for allegedly shooting Heather Camp in the chest in a vehicle at Highland before having sex with her at his trailer in New Vienna.

According to court documents, attorneys J.D. Wagoner and Bill Armintrout filed motions to withdraw from the case, with Wagoner citing a “conflict” between him and Carver. Judge Rocky Coss appointed Ohio Public Defender John Cornely as Carver’s lawyer.

Cornely previously represented Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger, a Greenfield man who faced the death penalty for the murder of an elderly Ross County man following another killing in the Greenfield area. Holsinger is serving a life sentence in prison.

Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins said she will not agree to a polygraph test for Carver, which he requested earlier in the case.

As previously reported, lie detector tests are not admissible as evidence in a criminal case unless prosecution and defense agree that one be administered.

Also Wednesday, a new trial date was set for Aug. 5 in the case. The next hearing will be June 17.

According to court documents, Carver allegedly shot Camp on Feb. 17 and refused to take her to the hospital, even going to Frisch’s in Hillsboro to eat before taking her to a residence in Greenfield. She was pronounced dead two days later when an acquaintance took her to a nearby hospital, officials said at the time.

According to a coroner’s office investigator, Camp’s body had extensive facial bruising indicating repeated physical trauma in the days leading up to her death.

Prosecutors say Carver was accusing Camp of having sex with another man.

As previously reported, Carver was indicted April 2 for murder, rape, having weapons under disability, domestic violence, and tampering with evidence.

Carver was arrested on the evening of Feb. 21 at a residence in Dayton after a three-day manhunt.

Carver has a lengthy criminal record, having been convicted of more than 30 offenses in Clinton County and Highland County courts, including aggravated assault, attempted abduction, domestic violence, receiving stolen property, disorderly conduct, assault and endangering children.

Carver was on parole in Missouri at the time of the killing, police said.

He is currently incarcerated at the Highland County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

This photo, taken earlier this year, shows attorneys J.D. Wagoner, left, and Bill Armintrout, right, with James Carver at a hearing in Hillsboro Municipal Court. Both attorneys have withdrawn from the case.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/05/web1_f-wagoner-carver-armintrout.jpgThis photo, taken earlier this year, shows attorneys J.D. Wagoner, left, and Bill Armintrout, right, with James Carver at a hearing in Hillsboro Municipal Court. Both attorneys have withdrawn from the case.
Wagoner, Armintrout withdraw; no polygraph in murder case

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com