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Chapel Hill Shooting Prosecutor Will Seek Death Penalty

Craig Stephen Hicks

Durham County prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Craig Stephen Hicks if he is convicted of the fatal shooting of three young Muslim Americans in Chapel Hill last month.

Durham District Attorney Roger Echols filed a notice of intent last week in Durham County Superior Court, saying he would pursue the charges at a preliminary hearing to be scheduled for the week of April 6th.

Chapel Hill Police investigators believe Hicks, 46, fatally shot his two neighbors, 23-year-old Deah Barakat and 21-year-old Yusor Abu Salha, and Abu Salha’s sister, 19-year-old Razan, on February 10th.

Family members of the victims said Hicks hated the victims because they were practicing Muslims and have called on authorities to investigate the shooting as a hate crime. While police investigators say they have not ruled out any possible motives, they said Hicks may have been disgruntled over the use of a parking space in their apartment complex.

There have been no executions in North Carolina since 2006.

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.
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