DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina man charged with killing three much-admired Muslim university students is expected to enter a plea more than four years after the slayings, which the victims' families blamed on bigotry.

Craig Hicks was expected Wednesday in court in Durham.

A judge could hear evidence about what prompted the February 2015 shootings in Chapel Hill. Police said Hicks claimed the confrontation stemmed from 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.

The victims were planning to visit Turkey later in 2015 to volunteer in a dental clinic at a camp for Syrian war refugees.

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