RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Relatives of the
three Muslim college students killed in
North Carolina are pressing for hate crime
charges against the alleged shooter, but
legal experts say such cases are relatively
rare and can be difficult to prove.
Chapel Hill police say they have yet to
uncover any evidence that Craig Stephen
Hicks acted out of religious animus,
though they are still investigating. As a
potential motive, they cited a longtime
dispute over parking spaces at the condo
community where Hicks and the victims
Hicks, 46, is charged with three counts of
first-degree murder in the deaths of Deah
Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor
Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister,
Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
The FBI is now conducting a "parallel
preliminary inquiry" to determine whether
federal laws were violated.