OXFORD, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Granville County jury ended the day without reaching a decision. They had only been deliberating for 2 1/2 hours before the judge dismissed them for the night.
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They headed home with undoubtedly burdened thoughts, confronted by what many will see as impossible moral questions underpinning two brutally real murders.
On New Year's Eve 2014, father and son Ed and Eric Campbell went to the home of an older couple in Oak Hill, Jerome and Dora Faulkner. The couple was killed, their valuables were stolen, their dogs were tortured and killed, and 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 says) it went down and what happened next.
The question that will keep jurors up is whether Eric Campbell's father, Ed Campbell, was so abusive - so devastatingly intimidating and controlling - that his son had no choice but to go along.
Ed Campbell killed himself in Raleigh Central prison so the only account of what happened on that day is Eric's testimony.
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 is weighing charges including murder, breaking and entering, arson, and animal cruelty. The most serious charges carry three potential outcomes: guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of second-degree murder, or not guilty.