Life sentence without parole for the man who killed 3 Muslim Students

A man who killed three Muslim students near the University of North Carolina in 2015 has been jailed for life.

Craig Stephen Hicks has pleaded guilty to killing three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill, USA in 2015, a shocking crime that was variously described as a hate crime, a dispute over parking or some combination of the two.

He was pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, for which he was sentenced to an additional 64 to 89 months.

Hicks was not charged with a hate crime though . That incensed the victims’ relatives, who alleged that Hicks had taunted the victims previously, and who did not accept that Hicks shot them only over a parking space.

The 2015 shootings took place as the three young people were sitting down to dinner. Deah Barakat, 23, was a second-year student in the University of North Carolina’s dentistry school. His 21-year-old wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, was planning to attend that graduate school. Her 19-year-old sister, Razan Abu-Salha, was a student at N.C. State University.

They were interrupted by Hicks, ringing the doorbell.

“In the 36-second video prosecutors played a previously unreleased video recording that captured part of the shootings and was taken from a cellphone belonging to Barakat. , Hicks can be seen first threatening Deah, then almost immediately start shooting,” deBruyn says. “The cellphone falls with the camera facing the ceiling.”

As the video continues, deBruyn reports, “there are screams from two women, both of which can be heard pleading for their lives screaming, ‘Please! Please!’ “

Before the video was played, the judge agreed to a request from the district attorney’s office that the cellphone video “not be recorded by media in the courtroom.”

During the hearing on Wednesday, Hicks said he had wanted to plead guilty “on day one”.

Life sentence without parole for the man who killed 3 Muslim Students
Craig Hicks raises his handcuffed hand to be sworn in before entering his guilty plea Wednesday, June 12, 2019

“Here it is, four years, four months and two days later, and I’m finally here,” US broadcaster CNN reported him as saying.

The killings sparked international outrage at the time, with then-US President Barack Obama denouncing the “brutal and outrageous murders”.