OXFORD, N.C. — The assistant prosecutor in a North Carolina double murder trial believes the jury’s decision to recommend life in prison for a man arrested in West Virginia then convicted of the crime was “fair.”
“We certainly respect what the jury did,” said Granville County, NC Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps.
The jury recommended life in prison Wednesday for Eric Campbell, 24, of Alvin, Texas. He faced the death penalty after being convicted of robbing and murdering a Granville County, NC couple.
Jermome Faulkner, 73, and Dora Faulkner, 62, were killed inside their home on New Years Eve 2014.
Capps said choosing between life or death is not an easy task.
“I think it is a very, very hard thing. I think that the 12 folks who made that decision took it very seriously and did examine the issues and give it a lot of thought,” she said.
Emotions ran high for family members of the Faulkners as the life sentence was handed down in court. Testimony was given during the trial and during a separate sentencing phase. Capps said the family was pleased with the outcome.
“I think they have gotten some closure from this,” she said. “Nothing will bring their parents back. There’s no doubt about that, but they certainly feel that justice has been served.”
In Dec. 2014, Campbell joined his father, Edward Campbell, on a multi-state crime spree that started in Texas and ended in West Virginia. The Campbells are accused of stabbing the Faulkners to death, placing their bodies inside a stolen truck, then setting their house on fire.
Capps said while North Carolina firefighters worked to contain the fire, they got the call from West Virginia State Police in Greenbrier County. The Campbells were arrested Jan. 1, 2015 along Interstate 64 in Lewisburg.
“They had found the Faulkners bodies, so yeah, at that moment when they were found in that truck, those folks up your way became crucial to the prosecution in this case,” Capps said.
Edward Campbell later killed himself in a Raleigh, NC prison.
During Eric Campbell’s testimony, he said his father killed the Faulkners and that he was outside the home during the time of the killings. Defense attorneys said Eric Campbell had suffered years of physical and emotional abuse by his father, which left him unable to prevent his involvement in what happened.
But prosecutors said Campbell was with his father before the murders when he purchased chemicals, gasoline and other items that were used to destroy the Faulkners’ home.
Capps said Campbell did not show any remorse during the trial.
“He’s never apologized that I know of unless I missed that in his testimony, but certainly he didn’t show a lot of emotion,” she said.
In addition to life in prison for the murders, Campbell was sentenced to 64 to 89 months for burglary, 64-89 months for robbery, 13-25 months for arson and two sentences of six-17 months for animal cruelty.