The man charged with killing three Muslim college students will face a death penalty trial after prosecutors told a judge they had strong and incriminating evidence that includes the blood from one of the victims found on the suspect’s pants. Senior Resident Judge Orlando Hudson Jr. of Superior Court ruled Monday that the man, Craig Hicks, is “death-penalty qualified.”
Mr. Hicks is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the Feb. 10 killings of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. The police have said that Mr. Hicks, 46, appeared to have been motivated by a dispute over parking at a condominium complex near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To support the death penalty in North Carolina, prosecutors must show the crimes had aggravating factors — in this case that one of the murders was committed during a second murder, and that there was an act of violence committed with a second act of violence.
SOURCE: The Associated Press