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Durham DA’s Office will not seek death penalty in Faith Hedgepeth murder case

The Durham County District Attorney’s Office does not plan to pursue the death penalty against the man charged with killing UNC-Chapel Hill student Faith Hedgepeth.

A notice signed by District Attorney Satana Deberry was filed in Superior Court on Tuesday declaring the case against Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares non-capital, meaning prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

The notice isn’t necessarily surprising. Deberry was elected on a platform of criminal justice reform, which included opposition to the death penalty. The News & Observer has reached out to Deberry’s office asking to speak with the district attorney.

Salguero-Olivares, 28, of Durham was charged with first-degree murder on Sept. 16, about nine years after Hedgepeth, 19, was found dead in a friend’s apartment in September 2012. The apartment was in the town of Chapel Hill but in Durham County, which means it will be prosecuted in that county.

Salguero-Olivares remains in jail on no bail. He is scheduled to return to court next month, according to court documents.

Police have not said when Salguero-Olivares became a suspect, how or whether he knew Hedgepeth, or what motive he may have had to kill her.

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This story was originally published September 28, 2021 12:44 PM.

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