Campbell found guilty of murder; Victims' family speaks

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Eric Campbell

A jury found Eric Campbell guilty of first-degree murder and other charges Monday as his trial resumed following a 3-week delay caused by a juror getting injured in a car crash.

The Granville County jury had only been deliberating for 2 1/2 hours before the judge dismissed them August 2 because the injured juror needed surgery. They began deliberating again just after 9:30 a.m. Monday and came back at 11 a.m.

Prosecutors say Campbell and his father Edward murdered Jerome and Dora Faulkner in the Oak Hill area on New Year's Eve 2014 and tortured their dogs in a robbery. Their bodies were lumped into a stolen SUV by the two intruders. The father and son were caught the next day in West Virginia.

Those facts are not in the question. In fact, the defendant, 23-year old Eric Campbell provided many of the details himself, offering testimony of what led up to the event, how (he said) it went down and what happened next.

The question jurors faced was whether Eric Campbell's father was so abusive - so devastatingly intimidating and controlling - that his son had no choice but to go along with the two brutal murders.

Ed Campbell killed himself in Raleigh Central prison, so the only account of what happened on that day is Eric's testimony.

During the trial, both sides introduced digital evidence such as video and audio recordings that bolstered their arguments. The three-week-long trial included expert testimony from law-enforcement, mental health experts, as well as friends and family of both the victims and the Campbells.

The jury weighed charges including murder, breaking and entering, arson, and animal cruelty. Campbell faces the death penalty. The trial now enters the penalty phase.

Because many witnesses have to travel from Houston - which is heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey flooding - the next phase of the trial has been postponed until September.

The family of Jerome and Dora Faulkner released a statement Monday through the district attorney's office:

"This day has been a long time coming. We have waited over two and one half years for justice for Jerome and Dora Faulkner, whose lives were taken in such a brutal and horrifying way. It is hard for us to find any joy in this situation. We are ready to move forward with our lives, taking the memory of Jerome and Dora with us.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Granville County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins, Jr., the West Virginia State Police, the Lewisburg, West Virginia Police Department, the Greenbrier County, West Virginia Sheriff's Office. We would especially like to thank District Attorney Mike Waters, Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps, and the entire Granville County District Attorney's Office for their countless hours spent in preparing this case for trial. We would also like to thank the Oak Hill, Oxford, and surrounding communities for their support over the last two and one half years, and for the love and support of our families and friends.

Although there is no real closure for us, we continue to pray for peace. Thank you."

The Faulkner Family
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