The murder trial of Eric Campbell continues Thursday at a courtroom in Granville County, North Carolina.
Prosecutors wrapped up their case against him Wednesday. The 23-year-old joined his father Edward Campbell on a multi-state crime spree from Texas to West Virginia, they say. 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 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.
Dr. Susan Venuti, a medical examiner, testified Wednesday that Dora sustained stab wounds to her torso, and blunt force trauma to her head and face. None of the defendant’s DNA was discovered at the victims’ home, but the prosecution tried to suggest that it could’ve gotten burnt up in the fire. Dr. Nabila Haikal, who examined Jerome, said he was shot in the leg with a firearm, sustained chemical burns, and was discovered with a plastic bag covering his head. Both victims were allegedly shot with crossbow bolts.
The defense will try to argue that though Eric was present for the crime spree, their client 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. Indeed, the defendant’s stepmother Holly Smook testified last Thursday that the elder Campbell was a brutal man who beat and threatened to kill her because he thought she was having an affair.
These attorneys won’t have at least one important tool, however. Judge Henry Hight has denied their motion to admit an apparent confession by Edward to police that he and he alone murdered the Faulkners. This was considered hearsay, and also unreliable since the father could have been motivated to lie on the son’s behalf.
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.
[Screengrab via LawNewz Network]