Ex-wife: Deadly crime spree suspect 'crazy, weird'
For one year, Chrystal Daugherty was married to Edward Watson Campbell, who together with his son is accused of killing a Granville County couple, then shooting two West Virginia police officers on Thursday.Posted — Updated
Daugherty, 53, hasn’t seen or heard from her ex-husband since he suddenly left her in 1985 – until he made national news this week after an alleged cross-country crime spree.
She blames drug addiction for his past and current troubles.
“People that do drugs, if he could throw his life away, then yeah, he could throw someone else’s life away. Why not?” she said from her California home Sunday. “I had zero interest in him after all these years, and I had no idea after 30 years this would come back and say, ‘Hey, you’re married to a crazy guy.’”
Cross-country crime spree
Campbell, 54, and his son, Eric Alexander Campbell, 21, both of Alvin, Texas, are accused of driving a stolen Chevrolet Suburban from Texas to North Carolina, killing a husband and wife in Granville County, setting the elderly couple’s home on fire, stealing their Chevrolet Silverado and shooting two police officers during a traffic stop in West Virginia.
Granville County officials believe the father-son duo burst in the couple’s home on N.C. Highway 96 near the Oak Hill community Thursday morning, set the house on fire, killed Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife, Dora, 62, loaded the bodies into the Silverado 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.
Both officers were out of the hospital by Friday evening. Stover credited the bulletproof vests the officers wore for minimizing their injuries.
Eric Campbell was charged with two counts each of attempted first-degree murder and malicious assault on a government officer. His father will face the same offenses when he is released from a Charleston, W.Va., hospital, authorities said.
Charges from North Carolina, Texas and other jurisdictions are pending against the duo.
Edward Campbell left Texas after a motion to change his bond in an aggravated assault case was filed Dec. 18.
Deputies were dispatched to a call of a suicidal subject and disturbance at an Alvin home in September, where Edward Campbell allegedly punched and choked his current wife, pointed a handgun at her, hit her with the firearm and banged her head against the floor over a span of nearly 24 hours, according to court documents. He also pointed the gun at himself during the alleged assault, documents said.
“Edward Campbell then sent his children to bed and began asking (his wife) who could come over to watch the kids so he could kill her,” court documents alleged.
The woman eventually escaped and contacted police. Campbell was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, but later jumped his $75,000 bond.
His wife pushed the court for a higher bond due to the violent nature of the assault, Brazoria County (Texas) Criminal District Attorney Jeri Yenne said. In court documents, officials described the assault as “savage/brutal attack involving firearm.”
Slipping through the cracks
Daugherty, Edward Campbell’s ex-wife, said his behavior changed after he became a registered nurse at a hospital and started stealing morphine and valium for personal use.
She said he was violent towards her once, but during the physical altercation, she was able to get the best of him. He didn’t try to assault her again.
“His behavior got really bizarre, and he was naked on the couch with a little rubber band thingy around his leg, and he had a syringe sticking out of his leg,” she said.
Daugherty said Edward Campbell claimed he used drugs to help him sleep and tried to get her to use the narcotics.
Instead, she threatened to go to police. He was gone the next day.
“I never spoke to him again,” she said. “We got our divorce through a mediator. We were never in the same room at the same time, never talked to him again. I was so distraught that the man I loved turned into this crazy, weird person.”
Edward Campbell has had several run-ins with the law since, including a narcotics conviction and his Texas medical license being revoked in 2009 for misappropriation of narcotics.
“He slipped through the cracks a lot,” she said. “That guy should have been in jail a long time ago.”
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