Father, son charged in New Year's Day slaying of Granville couple
Posted January 9, 2015
Oxford, N.C. — A father and son accused in the New Year’s Day killings of a Granville County couple and a crime spree spanning three states were charged Friday in North Carolina.
Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins said Edward Campbell, 54, and his son, Eric Campbell, 21, were each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony cruelty to animals, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary, arson, larceny of a motor vehicle, identity theft and financial card theft.
Wilkins said he doesn’t know when the pair will be returned to North Carolina from West Virginia, where they were captured in a shootout with officers there.
Granville County District Attorney's Michael D. Waters said his office is in contact with West Virginia authorities to ensure the men will be returned to North Carolina. He said he will present the Granville County charges to a grand jury on Jan. 26.
The men, both of Alvin, Texas, are accused of driving a stolen Chevrolet Suburban from Texas to North Carolina, where they killed Jerome and Dora Faulkner before setting their home north of Oxford on fire.
Authorities believe the men then loaded the bodies into the couple's Silverado pickup truck and, along with the Suburban, drove nearly four hours to West Virginia. Later that day, a West Virginia state system that scans license plates noted that the tag on the Suburban was reported stolen while the vehicle was heading west on Interstate 64.
Two Lewisburg, W.Va., police officers pulled over the Suburban, and while they spoke with Eric Campbell, who was driving the SUV, Edward Campbell pulled the Silverado off the highway nearby, Lewisburg Police Chief Tim Stover said.
As Edward Campbell approached the officers, he opened fire on them with a .38-caliber revolver, Stover said. One officer was shot in the chest and neck; the second officer was shot in the back, with a second bullet grazing his head, according to a criminal complaint.
The officers' returned fire. One shot Edward Campbell in the leg, Stover said.
Eric Campbell then jumped into the Silverado and drove off, wrecking the pickup in a nearby ravine, Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill said.
Investigators later found the Faulkners' bodies under a mattress in the back of the Silverado.
Eric Campbell is charged in West Virginia with attempted murder of a police officer and malicious assault of a police officer. Edward Campbell faces similar charges.
Wilkins said the animal cruelty charges filed in North Carolina stem from the shooting deaths of the Faulkners’ two dogs.
Search warrants released Friday in the investigation shed some light on the day the couple was killed.
Inside the Silverado, investigators found a crossbow, blood-stained sheets and the mattress police said was used to cover the bodies, according to a warrant. A search of the couple’s home turned up an arrow, several guns and a trail of blood.
Neighbor Judy Law said residents are still on edge and peace of mind is all but gone.
“Everybody’s just wondering why this happened, why were they targeted,” she said. “Emotion is pretty high around here.”
Funerals for Jerome Faulkner, 73, a retired volunteer fire chief, and Dora Faulkner, 62, a registered nurse, are set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Eakes Funeral Home in Oxford, with burial at Mountain Creek Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.