- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - The man accused of killing three college students in Chapel Hill last month is scheduled to appear at an April 6 court hearing to determine whether he will face the death penalty.

Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols filed papers in court last month that show he plans to seek the death sentence if Craig Stephen Hicks is convicted of first-degree murder.

Hicks is accused of the Feb. 10 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 the shootings were motivated by a long-running dispute over parking at the condominium complex where Hicks and the victims lived. The families of the slain Muslim students say religion played a role and have pushed for additional hate crime charges.

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