Prosecution wraps up case against man accused of killing Granville couple
Posted July 19
Updated July 20
Oxford, N.C. — After a day filled with graphic details about how a Granville County couple and their two dogs were killed almost three years ago, prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the capital murder trial of Eric Alexander Campbell.
Defense attorneys will announce Thursday whether Campbell will testify in his own defense or whether they will put up any other evidence.
Campbell, 24, of Alvin, Texas, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, second-degree arson, robbery with a dangerous weapon, larceny of a motor vehicle, financial card theft, identity theft and two counts of cruelty to animals in the Dec. 31, 2014, deaths of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife, Dora Faulkner, 62.
Authorities say Campbell and his father, Edward Watson Campbell, stormed into the Faulkners' home in northern Granville County, robbed them, set fire to the house and killed them before fleeing in both the couple's Chevrolet Silverado and a stolen SUV.
Police in Lewisburg, W.Va., arrested Edward and Eric Campbell on New Year's Day 2015 following a shootout, and investigators found the Faulkners' bodies under a mattress in the back of the pickup.
Edward Campbell killed himself in March 2015 in Raleigh’s Central Prison, where he was being held.
Eric Campbell's defense has maintained that he was under the control of his father and didn't willingly participate in the crime spree.
Two medical examiners testified Wednesday that the Faulkners were beaten and stabbed, and both were shot with bolts, or arrows from a crossbow. The arrow the sliced through Jerome Faulkner's chest broke off inside of him, and the tip had to be recovered during his autopsy, Dr. Nabila Haikal said.
Campbell bowed his head and closed his eyes during much of the testimony about the Faulkners' injuries.
Jerome Faulkner also suffered a gunshot wound to his left leg, had chemical burns on about 20 percent of his body and may have been asphyxiated as well, Haikal said, noting that he was found with a plastic bag over his head.
Haikal said Jerome Faulker was struck at least eight times in the head, but Dr. Susan Venuti said she couldn't determine how many times Dora Faulkner had been struck.
The fractures in her skull "could have been from one massive blow or several massive blows to the head," Venuti testified.
Dora Faulkner also had a plastic glove stuffed in her mouth, Venuti said.
A broken crossbow, some bloody bolts, including one missing a tip, and various chemicals were found in the stolen vehicles the Campbells were driving when they were apprehended in West Virginia.
There was no evidence either of the Faulkners was tied up during the attack, and Venuti and Haikal said none of the wounds would have been immediately fatal, meaning they may have been unconscious or lingering in pain for a while.
Meanwhile, a veterinarian testified that the couple's two dogs were likewise beaten and stabbed, and one appeared to have been hanged, based on the wounds around its neck.