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After 2 years, no court date set for man who gunned down three college students

Posted January 12

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— Nearly two years after a Chapel Hill man gunned down three Muslim students at a condominium complex on Summerwalk Circle, a court date came and went Thursday with little forward motion in the case.

Craig Stephen Hicks is charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 10, 2015, deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

Barakat was a second-year dental student at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Yusor Abu-Salha was scheduled to begin dental school there in the fall of 2015.

She graduated from North Carolina State University, where Razan Abu-Salha was a sophomore.

Hicks made a routine court appearance Thursday in Durham, but no trial date has been set.

Farris Barakat, Deah's brother, said he and his family are waiting patiently for a trial, but when the day comes, he is worried about what kind of emotions it will bring to the surface.

"The concept of time has completely escaped me I think," Barakat said.

And while police said the shootings stemmed from a parking dispute, Barakat said it was because they were Muslim.

"It is a reminder that hate can be deadly," he said.

Contrary to the claims of the family, police have said Hicks was motivated by a dispute over parking at the apartment complex.

Since February 2015, Farris Barakat has been working on healing and forgiveness, feelings he worries may be hard to find once Hicks' trial begins and he is forced to relive the details.

"I've tried really hard not to be angry and bitter, but during the trial, I'm worried about that," he said.

He said he also worried about his family and the community.

"I worry specifically for the community at large. Hopefully when the trial comes we can channel that into something positive," Barakat said.

Barakat said the trial could serve as a reminder that love conquers hate.

"As long as we are hurt by this, Craig Hicks is hurting more and more people," he said.

Hicks' next court date is January 31.

3 Comments

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  • Benjamin Kite Jan 17, 2:42 p.m.
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    Deplorable

  • Crystal Czeck Jan 13, 8:31 a.m.
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    I hope he rots the rest of his life away in Prison. Death would be much too easy for him.

  • John Kaiser Jan 13, 8:10 a.m.
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    I would like to know why the process is dragging on this long? There don't seem to be any mental competency issues here.