The murder trial against Eric Campbell continues Friday at a courtroom in Granville County, North Carolina. Prosecutors say he helped his father Edward Campbell kill a local couple on December 31, 2014. Victims Jerome Faulkner, 73, Dora Faulkner, 62, and their two dogs were stabbed to death. This was all part of an alleged crime spree from Texas to West Virginia. Police captured the Campbells after a shootout on January 1, 2015.
Son Eric, now 23, must face the accusation alone because the elder Campbell killed himself while in custody as a pre-trial inmate at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The defense is claiming that Eric thought that the Faulkners were only going to get robbed, not murdered. Eric was too afraid to stop the killings, having been abused by Edward Campbell for years, the defense said.
Nonetheless, the prosecution says that the defendant was culpable. They claim that Eric got money to bond Edward out of a Texas jail and aided his father during the crime spree. On Tuesday, Judge Henry Hight denied the defense’s request to allow the father’s apparent confession that he alone committed the murders. This statement was being treated as hearsay.
On Thursday,the Faulkners’ son, Jerome Faulkner Jr., took the stand. He described how how on New Years, he learned that his parents’ house had burned down, and when he called his father’s cell phone, he believed it was another man who answered.
At one point during the trial on Thursday, the judge removed a juror from the case after she told a deputy that she had sympathy for Eric Campbell. An alternate juror took her place.
Eric Campbell, who faces two counts first-degree murder, could get the death penalty if convicted. He has also been charged with first-degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree arson, and two counts of cruelty to animals.