Local News

Craig Stephen Hicks

Posted December 29, 2015 10:44 a.m. EST

Craig Stephen Hicks listens during an April 6, 2015, court hearing in which a judge ruled he could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the Feb. 10, 2015, slayings of three college students in Chapel Hill.

— Craig Stephen Hicks remains in the Durham County jail as his attorneys prepare for a death penalty trial that might not be held until 2017.

Hicks, 47, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the Feb. 10, 2015, killings of 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat; his wife, 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha; and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

Police say Hicks appears to have been motivated by a long-running dispute over parking spaces at the Chapel Hill condominium complex where he lives in the same building as Barakat and his wife.

The victims' families insist Barakat and the two sisters were targeted because they were Muslims. The FBI has conducted its own investigation of the case, but no decision has been made on whether to file federal hate-crime charges.