Prosecutors will seek death penalty against suspect in Granville couple's New Year's Day deaths
Posted April 8, 2015
Oxford, N.C. — Attorneys in Granville County said Wednesday that they intend to pursue the death penalty against a man charged with the murder of a couple there on New Year's Day.
"The state is announcing to the defendant and to the court that we intend to proceed capitally at this point," Vance/Granville District Attorney Michael D. Waters told the court as Eric Campell sat in silence. The entire hearing took only about 20 minutes.
It could be more than a year before Campbell faces trial for his role in the deaths of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife, Dora Faulkner, 62.
Authorities say Campbell, 22, and his father, Edward Watson Campbell, 54, both of Alvin, Texas, stormed into the Faulkners' home, just north of Oxford, on the morning of Jan. 1, 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. – about 200 miles northwest of Oxford – arrested the father and son later that day following a shootout.
Investigators found the Faulkners' bodies under a mattress in the back of the pickup truck. Authorities have not said how they died.
The elder Campbell killed himself March 10 at Raleigh’s Central Prison where he was being held.
In addition to two counts of first-degree murder, Campbell faces eight other charges in the case: 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.
Johnny Richards, pastor of Mountain Creek Baptist Church, attended Wednesday's hearing to support the Faulkner family.
"I didn’t know if any family would be here today, but if they were I wanted them to know the church and community was behind them," he said. "This is just my way of making a presence and an image of support."