Durham district attorney to seek death penalty in Chapel Hill shooting deaths of three college students

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Craig Stephen Hicks appears for a pretrial hearing

The Durham County District Attorney's Office says it will seek the death penalty for 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks in the February 10 shooting deaths of three Muslim college students.

Authorities say Hicks murdered 23-year-old Deah Barakat, his 21-year-old wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha in the couple's Chapel Hill apartment.

Chapel Hill police have said their initial investigation shows Hicks was apparently motivated by rage over a simmering parking dispute at the Finley Forest Condominiums on Summerwalk Circle - east of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Campus.

However, police have said they are investigating whether religious or ethnic hatred motivated Hicks in any way, and federal investigators have said hate crimes haven't been ruled out.

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