Craig Hicks Pleads Guilty To Murdering Three Muslim Students

Jun 12, 2019

Before a packed courtroom, Hicks pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder.
Credit Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Craig Stephen Hicks pled guilty to murdering three Muslim students at a Chapel Hill apartment complex in 2015. The death penalty was taken off the table and both sides agreed to three life terms in the shooting deaths of Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her younger sister Razan Abu-Salha who lived in the same apartment complex as Hicks.

Hicks claimed the shootings stemmed from a dsipute over parking spaces. The victim's families say they believe it was an anti-Muslim hate crime. Testimony by psychologist Samuel Sommers of Tufts University concluded that these were not random victims of a parking dispute, but that they were targeted because of who they were and how Hicks viewed them. The family was pushing for Hicks to be charged with a hate crime, but North Carolina has no felony hate crime law.

WUNC Daily News Producer Will Michaels was in the courtroom following hearing and joins Host Frank Stasio for an update.