OXFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — The trial for accused murderer, Eric Campbell, is underway.
Campbell is accused of murdering Jerome and Dora Faulkner at their home in 2015.
Police say Campbell and his father, Edward, drove from Texas to Granville County, where they robbed and killed the couple.
Monday, opening statements for the defense and prosecution were made.
For prosecutors, it’s a chance to paint an emotional picture of the victims for jurors.
For the defense, it’s an opportunity to explain Campbell’s state of mind.
“We know that at the end of this trial we would have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of first-degree murder of Jerome Faulkner, of Dora Faulkner,” said Allison Capps, the assistant district attorney.
“Eric Campbell did not kill Jerome and Dora Faulkner,” said William Durham, the defense attorney. “Ed Campbell, his father, killed Jerome and Dora Faulkner.”
Police say Campbell and his father, Edward, shot and killed the pair, robbed them, and then burned their house down.
“Jerome and Dora Faulkner, we believe the evidence will show you, spent their last moments fighting for their lives, against a brutal attack from two men,” said Capps. “An attack that they never saw coming.”
The defense explained to the jury an abusive relationship between Campbell and his father, pointing out the two had different goals.
“Ed Campbell’s goal was to kill, to rob, steal, hurt,” said Durham. “Eric Campbell’s goal was to survive.”
Prosecutors say the crimes spanned across several states.
Investigators say this all started in Texas, days before the killings when Campbell and Edward stole a white SUV and drove to North Carolina to target the couple.
Dash cam footage taken hours after the killings shows when police caught the two in West Virginia.
Gunfire was exchanged.
Prosecutors are working to prove this was all intentional.
“Deliberate decisions and conscious choices,” said Capps to the jury.
Family and friends of the Faulkners were in court Monday.
“The evidence will show Ed Campbell caused that tragedy,” said Durham. “Ed Campbell is the reason they’re suffering, not Eric Campbell.”
Campbell is facing the death penalty in this case. The trial will continue Tuesday.