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Craig Hicks Pleads Guilty To Murdering Three Muslim Students

Craig Hicks when he was first brought into Durham County courtroom 7D.
Jason deBruyn
Craig Hicks when he was first brought into Durham County courtroom 7D.

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.

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Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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