- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Murder charges are being filed against a father and son accused of killing a North Carolina couple as part of a multistate crime spree that ended in a police shootout in West Virginia, authorities said Friday.

Edward Campbell and Eric Campbell face two counts each of first-degree murder, along with burglary, arson, theft of a motor vehicle and other charges in Granville County, North Carolina, according to a news release from the office of District Attorney Michael Waters.

The release said the warrants are being served on the men in custody in West Virginia. Waters, whose territory includes Granville County, said authorities are working to bring them to North Carolina and a grand jury is expected to hear the case later this month. He declined further comment.

Granville County Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins Jr. has said he believes the Campbells burst into the home of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife, Dora Faulkner, 62, near Oxford on the morning of Jan. 1. Authorities say the suspects set the house on fire, killed the couple and stole their vehicle.

Wilkins says the couple was picked at random.

“The men just needed money, and the couple was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he told television station WTVD in North Carolina.

The suspects then apparently headed to West Virginia, where authorities say police officers pulled over the SUV driven by 21-year-old Eric Campbell that had a license plate showing it was stolen.

West Virginia State Police say the shootout began when a truck driven by Edward Campbell also pulled over, and he opened fire and wounded two officers.

The officers returned fire, wounding the elder Campbell. Both drivers fled but were soon apprehended. Officers then found the two bodies under a mattress in the truck bed.

Both suspects, who are from Alvin, Texas, remained jailed in West Virginia on two counts each of attempted murder of a police officer and malicious assault of a police officer. Edward Campbell, 54, was released from a Charleston hospital Tuesday after treatment for gunshot wounds.

In rural Granville County, Jerome Faulkner was a retired electrician and former volunteer fire chief who helped start the department. He also served as a deacon at Mountain Creek Baptist Church. Dora Faulkner worked as a nurse.

___

Associated Press writer John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, contributed to this report.


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