Insanity plea withdrawn, alleged campsite killer faces victim photos, evidence

Insanity plea withdrawn, alleged campsite killer faces victim photos, evidence
Judge Mark Calhoun (Source: Palestine Herald Press)
Judge Mark Calhoun (Source: Palestine Herald Press)

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - During the second day of a trial for a man accused of murdering six people at an Anderson County campsite, the suspect withdrew his plea for insanity and became emotional while looking at victim photos.

William Hudson, 35, is accused of murdering members of two families who were spending the weekend camping in Tennessee Colony. His trial is underway this week in Brazos County.

Hudson faces three charges of capital murder, and has pleaded not guilty to those charges. The Anderson County District Attorney is seeking the death penalty.

Hudson's defense team withdrew their insanity plea for the defendant on Tuesday, according to KLTV news partner Palestine Herald Press.

Hudson sat with his defense team in the BRAZOS COUNTY courtroom as proceedings continued Thursday.

The Herald-Press reports that the prosecution team projected numerous crime-scene photos onto screens for the jury to see.

Hudson, 35, seemed uncomfortable as the images were shown, fidgeting with his hands and continuously, rapidly blinking.

Texas Ranger Michael Stoner testified how he tried to locate missing victims Thomas Kamp, his sons, Nathan and Austin; and Hannah Johnson's son, Kade Johnson.

Stoner said that initially they thought the victims had been buried, but they found that instead, they had been put into the pond.

The Palestine Herald reports that Stoner shared that a local dive team came in to search the pond on the property, and then the prosecution showed photographs of the dive. However, when the prosecution began to show what was found by those divers as the dive progressed, the defense objected.

Judge Mark Calhoun overruled the objection, and the photos were shown.

When photos of the victims' bodies who were pulled from the pond were shown, gasps were heard throughout the courtroom, and several of the victims' family members left the room.

The prosecution also showed photos that indicated that Hudson had taken possession of many of the victims' belongings, including firearms registered to Thomas Kamp, and a vehicle owned by Hannah Johnson.

On Nov. 15, 2015, Nathan Kamp, 23, and Austin Kamp, 21, were murdered while on vacation with their father Thomas Kamp and his girlfriend Hannah Johnson. Johnson's 6-year-old son Kade, her father, Carl Johnson and Carl's wife, Cynthia Johnson, were also on vacation with the group.

Cynthia Johnson was the only survivor.

The trial resumes tomorrow in Judge Calhoun's courtroom.


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