Bigamy case admission results in four weekends in county jail

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A 37-year-old former Greenwood man will do four weekend stints in jail following his guilty plea to the charge of bigamy.

Travis L. Camden, who said he now resides in Paragon, pled guilty to the rare charge of bigamy, a Class D felony, in a plea agreement with the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office.

In return for his admission and guilty plea to the bigamy charge, the state agreed to drop a second count of providing false information on a marriage license application.

Putnam Circuit Court Judge Matt Headley imposed an 18-month Department of Correction sentence for Camden as a result of the bigamy conviction but ordered only 60 days of that sentence to be executed.

That translates into 30 days actually served, with eight days remaining for Camden to complete his bigamy sentence.

"Basically you have some pretty easy terms frankly," Judge Headley told him during his recent court appearance.

The judge ordered him to serve four consecutive weekends in the Putnam County Jail as long as the jail can accommodate him. Camden was told he needs to be at PCJ by 8 p.m. Fridays and will be released at 8 p.m. Sundays.

Attorney G. Allen Lidy of Mooresville told the court Camden was "neglectful in his responsibility, which led to the offense in this case."

Court records show Camden failed to divorce his first wife, Tamara R. Camden of Indianapolis, before marrying Amanda Camden of Greencastle.

The bigamy charge, Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said, is one he has not previously encountered in the courtroom.

The marriage discrepancy came to light, court documents note, when Tamara Camden, who married Travis on June 9, 2007, began receiving texts from someone claiming to be Travis.

However, the texting person turned out to be Amanda Camden of Greencastle. In the course of their conversation, both women said they were married to the same man.

Travis Camden had apparently told Amanda he wanted to adopt his brother's child. However, the child was, in fact, the offspring of his marriage to Tamara.

Following that conversation, Tamara drove to Putnam County and viewed a copy of the marriage license for Travis and Amanda Camden. The document was dated June 26, 2011.

Nowhere did the marriage license mention Travis had been married to Tamara. When he signed the application, he did so indicating that all information was true and correct under the penalties of perjury.

Tamara then contacted the Greencastle Police Department, supplying documents indicating Travis was married to both women.

When police were able to contact the defendant, he said he married Amanda Camden in Morgan County in 2011. Travis said he had previously been married to Tamara Camden, but the two divorced in 2010 (a statement which later proved to be false).

According to Tamara, the two have been estranged since a violent domestic July 2010 incident that led to a restraining order against Travis.

Camden reportedly filed for divorce in his first marriage in Johnson County, but not until after bigamy charges had been filed in Putnam Circuit Court on Jan. 27, 2012.

That misstep also effectively rendered his alleged marriage to Amanda void, the prosecution noted.

As part of Camden's sentence, Judge Headley noted, he will be on probation until Sept. 1, 2014 and cannot be in possession of a firearm or even have a firearm in his home.