Craig Hicks to be tried capitally | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, April 6, 2015

Craig Hicks to be tried capitally

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 4:10 PM

Craig Hicks, who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder following the triple homicide of three Chapel Hill students two months ago, may be tried capitally, a Durham judge ruled today. 

During an afternoon hearing, prosecutors outlined some of the details surrounding the deaths of Deah Baraket, 23; his newlywed wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, 19-year-old Razan. On Feb. 10, Hicks, a neighbor, arrived at the doorstep of Baraket and Yusor armed with a concealed gun, and frustrated about parking spots, Assistant District Attorney James Dornfried said.

After a brief discussion with Baraket, who answered the door, Hicks shot him several times, and then fired a volley of shots at the Abu-Salha sisters, who were screaming nearby, said Dornfried. Hicks then stepped up to the women, who were still alive, and shot each of them in the head, and then returned to Deah, firing one last round before leaving the residence, Dornfried said.

Dornfried said that a bloodstain on Hicks' pants contained Yusor's DNA, that his shirt and pants contained gunshot residue, and that the bullet casings at the scene matched up with the gun in Hicks' car.

Hicks, 46, owned a concealed-carry permit, and possessed an arsenal of firearms, including shoguns, handguns and rifles.

Prosecutors cited two aggravated factors allowing them to seek the death penalty: Hicks allegedly committed one murder in the commission of another; and he allegedly committed murder in the commission of violent crimes against other individuals. 

Roger Echols, Durham's recently elected district attorney, is seeking the death penalty despite running an election campaign in which he said he did not personally support capital punishment. Asked during a post-hearing press conference what accounted for the discrepancy in the Hicks case, Echols declined to elaborate because, he said, it would require him to get into the facts of the case, which he is prevented from doing before the trial.

Dornfried says that the discovery period of the case is nearing completion. His office is still waiting for the medical examiner's report, the downloading of certain forensic material onto a hard drive, and the processing of a court order linked to a parallel federal investigation. If the federal government decides to prosecute Hicks separately, the charges could include hate crimes. All three victims were Muslims.

Family members of the three victims filled up a portion of the courtroom gallery. As an unshaven Hicks was leaving the courtroom in orange jail garb, Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of the sisters, turned to him and shouted, "Coward scumbag." Hicks looked at Abu-Salha, and simply raised his eyebrows up and down. 

The next court hearing is scheduled for the week of June 1.
Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

Most Recent Comments

It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

So I guess the only question open in this election is:
Who, if anyone, does Pierce Freelon endorse?
(As …

by JoeJoey on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

Yes, I really hope this is put on YouTube or something. It would maximize voter reach, especially as there are …

by JohnnyDollar on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

We are lucky to have had such a primary field of bright, excellent, visionary candidates for Mayor of Durham, and …

by Sam M-B on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation