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Chapel Hill Man Accused Of Executing Muslim Students Facing Execution Himself

A possible North Carolina hate crime against Muslims could now lead to a death sentence.

A judge ruled Monday that the Chapel Hill man who allegedly killed three Muslim college students could face the death penalty if convicted, The News & Observer reports.

Hicks is charged with first degree murder for the Feb. 10 killings. He turned himself and the murder weapon in the same day after allegedly shooting 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat along with his wife, 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

Hicks’ Facebook showed extremely liberal, atheistic tendencies, a fact largely ignored by the media.

Prosecutors say Hicks confronted Barakat and shot him. When the two women began screaming, he allegedly shot them too. Both women took bullets to the head. Authorities say they found eight shell casings at the scene and that Hicks’ pants had one of the victim’s blood on them.

Police say Craig Hicks, 46, was apparently motivated by a long-standing parking dispute, but the family members of the deceased insist it was a hate crime, the Associated Press reports. The family is pushing for hate crime charges, and the FBI is investigating whether the evidence supports those charges.

Prosecutor Jim Dornfried explained to a judge Monday why Hicks should be eligible for the death penalty, going through the details of the students’ deaths.

“They were alive after the first volley and shots toward them,” Dornfried said. “Each of these women was then shot in the head.”

Authorities say Hicks, an unemployed college student, had a stash of a dozen guns in his house. The family of the victims say Hicks had previously patrolled the parking lot with a gun, and search warrants found that Hicks meticulously studied the parking activity of the residents of the condominium complex.

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