Prosecutor: Evidence of torture in Granville County murders

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Eric Campbell (WTVD)

Prosecutors in the gruesome murders of an elderly Granville County couple on New Year's Eve 2014 are revealing new details in the case.

The prosecutors said in court Tuesday that the couple may have been tortured before being killed.

The deaths of 73-year old Jerome Faulkner and his 62-year old wife Dora at their home near Oak Hill made national headlines when the accused killers set off on a multi-state crime spree from Texas to West Virginia.

Prosecutors also claimed there is evidence that Jerome's death was a slow one.

Lawyers for a 23-year-old man accused asked a judge Tuesday to take the death penalty off the table.

The judge said he would delay the ruling on the death penalty until the start of the trial, saying it would be premature to for the court to remove the option at the current time. Jury selection is set for February 27 and could take weeks.

One of the suspects, 52-year-old Edward Campbell, later killed himself in Raleigh's Central Prison. Now his son Eric, the other suspect, is putting all the blame on his dad as he tries to stay off death row.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE MURDERS AND WHY THE FAULKNERS WERE TARGETED

In a motion, the defense says the younger Campbell was threatened and abused by his father and he was afraid of him. It says Eric Campbell didn't know his father intended to kill the couple. He thought it was just going to be a robbery.

"Eric said over and over again, 'I just thought it was going to be a robbery. I didn't want him to kill anybody. I didn't want to commit a robbery. I didn't want anyone to be robbed. I didn't want anyone to be killed,'" his defense lawyer said.

After the murders, the Faulkner's bodies were loaded into their pickup truck which the Campbells drove to West Virginia. After shootout with police there the next day - New Year's 2015 - investigators found the bodies in the truck bed under a mattress.

If the judge refuses to take the death penalty off the table, Campbell could be the first defendant to face a capital punishment trial in Granville County in 25 years.

The judge denied a change of venue on Tuesday.

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