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US: Life imprisonment for man killed three young Muslims

US: Life imprisonment for man killed three young Muslims

A court in North Carolina has handed down three life sentences without the right to early release to Stephen Hicks, who killed three Muslims in February 2015.

Hicks, 50, admitted that he had shot his neighbor in a residential complex in Chapel Hill, Shadi Barakat, a 23-year-old Syrian, and his wife Yusr Mohammed Yousuf Abu Salha, 21, and her sister Razan (19 years), two Palestinian citizens of Jordanian nationality.

The man was also sentenced to five years in prison for shooting inside a house.

Hicks claimed he committed the crime because of an argument between him and his Muslim neighbors over a car park in front of the house, and was sentenced on the basis of this hypothesis, despite the insistence of plaintiffs and parents of victims that the crime motivated by hatred.

A video clip documenting the moment of the murder was presented at a court hearing. Hicks suddenly took out a pistol and shot the victims, and then handed himself over to the police.

The man said at the hearing that he had "made a mistake" and his reaction was "excessive".

Source: The Associated Press

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