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MORE: Fairfax grand jury indicts Martinez-Torres on capital murder, rape charges

A northern Virginia man accused of killing a 17-year-old Muslim girl as she walked back to her mosque is now facing a possible death penalty after an indictment Monday charging him with capital murder and rape.

The June slaying of Nabra Hassanen, who had been out with friends eating a meal ahead of pre-dawn Ramadan services, rattled the region's Muslim community. More than 200 supporters wearing "Justice for Nabra" T-shirts showed up at a preliminary hearing Friday for the man charged in her death, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez-Torres of Sterling. The hearing was delayed when Nabra's parents had to be restrained from charging at Martinez-Torres. Nabra's mother threw a shoe at him.

Police had said previously they were investigating whether Nabra had been sexually assaulted, but Monday's indictment is the first time that prosecutors brought sex-crime charges of any kind against Martinez-Torres.

Virginia law allows prosecutors to pursue a death penalty only under certain conditions. Those include murder in the commission of a rape and murder during an abduction with intent to defile.

The seven-count indictment handed up Monday actually includes four counts of capital murder, spelling out in sometimes graphic detail the ways in which prosecutors believe the slaying qualifies for the death penalty.

Police have said Hassanen was out with a group of more than a dozen friends at about 3:40 a.m. June 18. The group was walking back to their mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, after eating at a McDonald's ahead of a daylong fast. Observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, which this year coincided with the summer solstice. As a result, teens from the mosque sometimes went out for fast-food meals in the overnight hours between the late-night and early morning prayer services.

Police say Martinez-Torres encountered the group and got into a confrontation with some of the kids who had been in the roadway. Martinez-Torres chased after the group and caught Hassanen, at one point bludgeoning her with a baseball bat, police said.

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.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, is representing Nabra's family. CAIR lawyer Gadeir Abbas said the family "is focused on ensuring that there is justice for Nabra and that the murderer is held accountable for his crimes. This tragedy has affected the family, but also the Muslim community across the country, coming as it did during Ramadan when the kids were gathering at the mosque to socialize and for prayer."

Some Muslim activists called for hate-crime charges. Police and prosecutors said they have seen no evidence of anti-Muslim bias that would warrant such a charge.

Dawn Butorac, the public defender appointed to represent Martinez-Torres, did not return a call Monday seeking comment.


Associated Press writer Juliet Linderman contributed to this report from Greenbelt, Maryland.

Comments


Good. Hope he gets the death penalty. If he were to go to prison, we the people just have to pay to feed and house him while he learns even more egregious behavior while incarcerated for when he gets paroled or possibly escapes. Let this be a good, hard lesson for others who are like-minded to this guy.


Duncan, two strawmen statements to begin? 

Let’s review.  Loudoun has a much lower crime rate than Virginia or the US overall.  Illegal immigrants certainly have much higher crime rates than the Loudoun average. (see Cato Institute’s “Criminal Immigrants: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin” from this year)  In fact, the main illegal immigrant population we see are from Latin America such as Torres.  While you might have seen claims that “immigrants” or even “illegal immigrants” have lower crime rates than average, that is not true in reality.  Illegal immigrants from Latin America have higher crime rates than whites and much higher than Asians.  Given Loudoun’s especially low crime rate, any influx of these Latin American illegals increases crime disproportionately.

On an anecdotal level, we have seen a gang member shoot another high school “dreamer” (who was also in gangs) over in Sterling.  We have seen the Torres incident.  We have seen illegals from Leesburg go missing and found dead in WV.  We have had illegals wield machetes and seriously disfigure others in Leesburg.  We had two illegals kill another over in Ashburn Meadows.  The list goes on and on.  Given they are but a small minority, how in the world do you reach the conclusion they are “better citizens” from these incidents?

Yet you don’t seem to care that many such as Herring, Northam, McAuliffe and yes, some greedy Republicans who benefit directly from cheap labor want to ignore our immigration laws.  You cheer the fact that because it’s nearly impossible to collect info on the status of criminals because of sanctuary city policies.  You believe such ignorance only helps your cause as you come on here and spout “I’ll bet most ‘dreamers’...” knowing full well cities have made such data out of reach.

The choice is clear.  If you want more senseless killings all so a few can have cheap labor, vote for Herring, Northam and the like.  If not, vote for folks that would at least attempt to enforce the law.


As usual, it’s about immigrants and race.  You know what this liberal has to say?  Dreamers, immigrants, white, blacks, Asian have nothing to do with a person that has the mind to do things like this.  Stephanie Roper (google her), she was murdered by two white guys in Maryland.  One of the most horrific crimes ever committed in Maryland.  This is not an immigrant or a race thing!  It’s a crimminally insane thing!!  You know what this liberal as to say…..fry this twisted freak, let him ride the white lighting then hang em high.  He’s a disgusting demon.  Let’s hope Virginia does away with him soon so our tax dollars don’t go to keep him fat and happy in prison.


Duncan, how are those two cases even remotely related?  One involved an intentional act while the other appears to have been an accident.


Virginia SGP: Right, because “dreamers” are the only ones who commit crimes. In fact, no crime in NoVA is committed by a natural born citizen, right? In reality, I’ll bet most “dreamers” are better citizens than most others in the area.


If you believe we need more of these “dreamers” instead of actually screening immigrants BEFORE they enter the country, vote for Ralph Northam. I am sure he is just “shocked” any young man from El Salvador could be violent. Why, Northam, Herring and McAuliffe are counting on future voters like Torres once they can get amnesty passed.


And yet Loudoun can’t seem to lock up a guy who ran over a baby with his car in broad daylight.

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