NORTH CAROLINA

Trial in slaying of 3 Muslims

A prosecutor described in court in Durham yesterday how Craig Stephen Hicks, accused of killing three Muslim college students Feb. 10, methodically shot each one after a dispute over a parking space. Hicks, 46, told police he first argued with neighbor Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, at Barakat's front door about "certain issues . . . involving parking," Assistant District Attorney James Dornfried told a packed courtroom. Then Hicks walked to his adjoining apartment and returned with a handgun to shoot all three students one at a time, Dornfried said as he requested the death penalty.

OHIO

Police barrage defended

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A Cleveland police officer feared for his life and those of fellow officers when he fired the final shots of a barrage of gunfire that killed two unarmed suspects, his attorney said yesterday in opening statements in the patrolman's trial. The tactics of Michael Brelo, 31, could be called into question, given that Brelo exposed himself to danger when he stepped onto the hood of a beat-up car to fire 15 rounds into the windshield of the suspects' vehicle, attorney Patrick D'Angelo said. But Brelo and 12 officers who shot a total of 137 rounds into the car in November 2012 had ample reason to believe that Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, were shooting at them, he said. D'Angelo said he wasn't calling what Brelo and the other officers did that night heroic. "They are simple, ordinary people who try to do the best they can and are put in very dangerous situations," he said.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Frat censured over party

Clemson University put the school's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on probation for two years after it held a "Cripmas" party where students dressed like gang members, according to a statement yesterday. The fraternity's national organization was outraged by the Christmas-themed party in which members wore blue and red bandannas, colors of the Crips and Bloods street gangs, throwing up gang hand symbols and wearing T-shirts with images of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. Two dozen students were suspended and the leaders of the local chapter were removed.