The murder trial of Eric Campbell continues Tuesday at a courtroom in Granville County, North Carolina. Jurors are sitting through a third week of testimony.
This 23-year-old defendant joined his father Edward Campbell on a multi-state crime spree from Texas to West Virginia, prosecutors said. It culminated on Dec. 31, 2014, when these two allegedly stabbed to death Granville locals Jerome Faulkner, 73, Dora Faulkner, 62, and the couple’s dogs; burned the house down; and brought the human victims’ bodies along in a stolen truck. The state wrapped up its case on Wednesday.
The son 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 defense began their case on Thursday. They are trying to argue that although Eric was present for the crime spree, he wasn’t culpable: He thought the Faulkners were only going to get robbed, not murdered; and he was too afraid to stop his father Edward, a long-time abuser.
Campbell’s childhood friend Linda Lamont testified on his behalf Monday. She supported the defense’s argument that Eric’s father was physically abusive. Edward would make his sons march like soldiers, and strike them in the head when they got out of pace, Lamont said. The domination was so thorough that they would jump at the sound of his voice, and run to see what he wanted, she said.
Dr. Ayesha Chaudhary, a staff psychiatrist at Duke University, also testified for the defense, saying that she interviewed Eric Campbell several times starting in November 2016. She argued he was a reliable narrator, consistent when talking about his experiences. Prosecutor Allison Capps tried to undermine Chaudhary as a witness, however, by asking her questions about factual errors in her report, and highlighting the almost two-year time span between the Faulkners’ murders and the first interview.
Campbell, who faces two counts oof 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.
[Featured Post Image: Screengrab of defendant, on left, with legal team via LawNewz Network]