A Franklin man charged with the grisly murder of his own mother was found not guilty by reason of insanity at a Superior Court hearing Monday.
Harold Jason Campbell, 31, was arrested in December 2006, and charged with murdering his mother, Gloria Campbell, at her home on 880 Brendle Road.
At the time of the incident, Gloria had reportedly just arrived home from grocery shopping when Harold shot her five to six times in the yard beside her home. Harold then threw her body over a brushfire in the backyard that he had prepared earlier.
Witnesses working on a construction site nearby saw the shooting and called 9-1-1. Roger Thompkins placed the call and told the dispatcher that he had witnessed a woman getting shot. “He’s burning the body in the backyard,” said Thompkins in the call.
Campbell placed a 9-1-1 call as well, and admitted to killing Gloria. “I shot my mother … at my home,” said Campbell. He told the dispatcher that he shot her in the yard. When asked where on her body she was shot he responded, “She’s dead. Please send the police ma’am. Please lock me up.”
Witnesses working on a construction site nearby saw the shooting and called 9-1-1. Roger Thompkins placed the call and told the dispatcher that he had witnessed a woman getting shot.
Officers responded to the scene minutes later and took Campbell into custody at gunpoint, and then removed Gloria’s body from the fire. According to reports, officers found a handgun at the scene. Campbell was living with his parents having recently moved to Franklin from Maryland.
According to Campbell’s prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Jason Arnold, the defendant told a doctor at a state psychiatric facility that he was receiving computer messages telling him to kill his mother at the time, and that “a demon had to be burned by fire.”
As Arnold explained in court, Campbell believed he was working for the CIA, as his delusions deepened. He also became “hyper-religious” and believed that his mother was the “whore of Babylon” and was trying to poison him.
Superior Court Judge Sharon Barrett handed down the ruling that Campbell was not guilty by reason of insanity, as requested by prosecutors and his attorney, Randal Seago. Campbell was sent to Central Regional Hospital in Butner, N.C., where he will be treated. If the facility ever recommends him for release, Campbell is required to have a hearing in Macon County.