Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty for Man Charged With Killing North Carolina Muslim Students

Craig S. Hicks on Feb. 11. Mr. Hicks has confessed to murder, but the police will not say if he offered more details or a motive. (PHOTO CREDIT: Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer, via Associated Press)
Craig S. Hicks on Feb. 11. Mr. Hicks has confessed to murder, but the police will not say if he offered more details or a motive. (PHOTO CREDIT: Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer, via Associated Press)

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the man charged with the killings of three Arab-American students in a Chapel Hill, N.C., apartment complex, the district attorney’s office handling the case said Monday.

The suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, turned himself into a sheriff’s office shortly after 6 p.m. on Feb. 10. That was less than an hour after police found the bodies of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; her husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

Roger Echols, the Durham County district attorney, notified Judge Orlando F. Hudson on Wednesday of his intention to seek capital punishment, according to a document filed with the Superior Court.

A hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to pursue a death-penalty case was scheduled for Monday. That hearing was postponed because of a scheduling conflict in the district attorney’s office, said the office’s administrative assistant, Candy Clark. A new date has not been set, but is expected in early April.

Mr. Hicks has confessed to murder, but the police will not say if he offered more details or a motive, said Lt. Joshua Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department. The police executing a search warrant found 12 firearms, including four pistols and a Bushmaster AR-15, in the apartment Mr. Hicks shared with his wife.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Jonathan M. Katz

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