N Carolina man pleads guilty to killing 3 Muslim students

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FILE – In this March 14, 2017, file photo, Craig Hicks, center, charged with the murder of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, N.C., listens to with attorney Steve Freedman as he makes an appearance in a Durham County courtroom in Durham, N.C. Hicks is expected Wednesday, June 12, 2019, to enter a plea in […]

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina man charged with killing three much-admired Muslim university students has pleaded guilty four years after the slayings.

Craig Hicks pleaded guilty to three counts of murder on Wednesday in a Durham courtroom filled with dozens of the victims’ family and friends.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Police said Hicks claimed the confrontation was sparked by competition for parking spaces at the condominium complex where they all lived.

The families of 23-year-old University of North Carolina dental student Deah Barakat; his 21-year-old wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha said they believe Hicks acted with anti-Muslim hatred. They also said Hicks objected to the head scarves the women wore in observance of their faith.

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