Man charged with killing 3 Muslims can face death penalty

AP , Monday 6 Apr 2015

A judge in North Carolina has ruled the man accused of killing three Muslim college students can face a death penalty trial.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson Jr. ruled Monday in a hearing where a prosecutor described some of the evidence against Craig Stephen Hicks.

Hicks is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the Feb. 10 killings of 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat; his wife, 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha; and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

Police say the 46-year-old Hicks appears to have been motivated by a long-running dispute over parking spaces at the Chapel Hill condominium complex where he lived in the same building as Barakat and his wife.

The victims' families are adamant they were targeted because they were Muslims and have pushed for hate-crime charges.

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