The murder trial against Eric Campbell began Monday at a Granville County, North Carolina courtroom. Prosecutors say he willfully helped his father Edward Campbell kill a local couple on December 31, 2014. Victims Jerome Faulkner, 73, and Dora Faulkner, 62, as well as their two dogs, were stabbed to death. This was all part of crime spree from Texas to West Virginia.
Son Eric, now 23, must face the accusation by himself: The elder Campbell killed himself while in custody as a pre-trial inmate at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.
During opening statements on Monday, defense attorney William Durham said his client thought they were just going to rob the Faulkners.
“Eric said over and over again, ‘I just thought it was going to be a robbery.'” Durham said. “‘I didn’t want him to kill anybody. I didn’t want to commit a robbery. I didn’t want anyone to be robbed. I didn’t want anyone to be killed.'”
He said the elder Campbell was abusive, and that Eric was too afraid to stop the killings. It was all his fathers’ fault.
Nonetheless, Granville County Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps argued that the defendant made “deliberate decisions, conscious choices.” She said Eric Campbell got money to bond his father out of a Texas jail, and was present when chemicals and items meant for killing people were brought before the Faulkners’ murder.
She said son helped father burn down the house. The Faulkners’ bodies were put in Campbell’s pickup truck, and were discovered the next day.
The defendant, who faces two counts first-degree murder, could face the death penalty.
[Screengrab of Eric Campbell via Law Newz]