Chapel Hill shooting: Man accused of killing three Muslim students could face death penalty

Family of those killed say they were targeted because they were Muslim

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The Independent US

The man accused of killing three Muslim students in North Carolina could face the death penalty, a district court judge ruled on Monday.

Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the 10 February shooting 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 alleged murders were prompted by a long-running parking dispute at a Chapel Hill condominium complex, but the family of the victims say they were killed because they were Muslim. The FBI has been investigating the incident to see if any federal laws were broken, including the possibility of hate crimes. The victims’ family has been calling for hate-crime charges.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson Jr said Mr Hicks is “death-penalty qualified”. The prosecutor in the case has indicated that he will seek the death penalty for Mr Hicks.

 

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