Trial Date to Be Set for Man Accused of Killing Teen Walking to Mosque

A northern Virginia man accused of killing a Muslim teen as she walked back to her mosque is scheduled to be back in court, where he now faces charges that could bring the death penalty. 

The June slaying of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston rattled the region's Muslim community. She was attacked as she walked to a mosque with a group of friends for pre-dawn Ramadan services. 

On Monday, a grand jury in Fairfax County indicted Darwin Martinez-Torres of Sterling on charges including capital murder and rape in Hassanen's death.

Virginia state law allows prosecutors to pursue a death penalty under certain conditions, including premeditated murder during a rape.

The indictment is the first indication that authorities believe Nabra Hassanen was raped.

Police say Martinez Torres encountered Hassanen among a group of teenagers in Sterling, Virginia, as they walked from a mosque in June for a service. Authorities say Martinez Torres got into a confrontation with some of the teens, and chased them. Police say Martinez Torres caught Hassanen and bludgeoned her with a bat. A search warrant says he then dumped her body in a lake.

Torres was charged with murder but not a hate crime. Prosecutors say he lashed out in a case of road rage.


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In a search warrant affidavit, police say Martinez-Torres admitted killing Nabra and that he led them to where he had dumped her body in a nearby pond.

On Friday, Hassanen's devastated parents interrupted court proceedings.

"You killed my daughter!" Nabra Hassanen's father shouted. He stood on a courtroom bench and lunged at the accused in a packed courtroom.

Hassanen's mother hurled a shoe at Torres from across the courtroom and screamed "I kill you!"

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning to set a trial date.

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