Deliberation finally continues Monday in the murder trial of Eric Campbell, but can jurors in Granville County, North Carolina reach a verdict? Weeks ago, the judge put everything on hold after one of them got into what was described as a minor car accident. This was the same woman who had previously requested to be released from the case. Dismissing her would result in a mistrial.
Jurors have already heard 13 days of testimony and another for closing arguments. Now they must decide: Is Campbell responsible for the double murder of a local couple, or does all the blame lie with his father? This may be a tougher question than some are willing to face.
Prosecutors say the defendant joined his dad Edward Campbell on a multi-state crime spree from Texas to West Virginia. It culminated on Dec. 31, 2014, when these two allegedly stabbed to death Jerome Faulkner, 73, Dora Faulkner, 62, and the couple’s dogs at their Granville home, burned the house down, and brought the human victims’ bodies along in a stolen truck. During closing arguments, lead prosecutor Allison Capps said this crime was too complicated for one man to do it alone. Both father and son played a role.
Eric faces these accusations alone—The elder Campbell killed himself in March, 2015, while locked up as a pre-trial inmate at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The verdict may rest on how jurors understand the defendant’s relationship with his late father. The defense blamed the Faulkners’ deaths on Edward. They say that Eric, who faced years of abuse from the man, dared not cross him, and only believed the victims were going to get robbed, not murdered. Witnesses, including his brother and aunt, testified on Campbell’s behalf, saying that his dad was indeed a brutal man. During closing arguments, lead defense lawyer William Durham said that his client willingly joined Edward Campbell on a trip before the killings, but had no intent to commit those crimes.
The defendant, who faces two counts of 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.
[Screengrab via LawNewz Network]