Grand Jury Issues Capital Murder Indictment in Muslim Teen's Death

Grand Jury Issues Capital Murder Indictment in Muslim Teen's Death

When the teens regrouped at the mosque, they discovered that Hassanen was missing.

A capital murder charge can be punishable by death.

Darwin Martinez-Torres of Sterling was also slapped with a rape charge in the slaying of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen whose body was found in a pond hours after she hung out with her friends at an IHOP restaurant during Ramadan on June 18. However, police and some witnesses said Torres appeared to be agitated by "road rage" and the murder was not investigated as a hate crime. She and a group of teenagers had left their Sterling-area mosque between Ramadan prayers to get food when Hassanen was abducted. Fairfax County police said Nabra's friends got into an argument with Torres, who was in a vehicle.

Virginia law has specific conditions for pursuing the death penalty, but the Associated Press reported that the grand jury's indictment described in graphic detail how Nabra's killing was grounds for a death penalty against Martinez-Torres. The undocumented immigrant is accused of beating 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen to death with a baseball bat, then dumping her body in a lake.

"Our investigation at this point in no way indicates the victim was targeted because of her race or religion", police stated at the time, after speculation that Hassanen had been targeted as a Muslim. He said he remains open to considering any evidence of a hate crime, but so far has not seen anything to lead him in that direction.

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Outside, supporters of the family held signs with Hassanen's photo.

"You kill my daughter!" her father shouted, lunging at Martinez-Torres.

A preliminary hearing for Martinez-Torres reportedly turned emotional on Friday, with Nabra's parents both shouting at the suspect in court. Dozens of people had gathered outside the courthouse today, chanting "Justice for Nabra."

"I kill you!" her mother said, throwing a shoe, NBC Washington reported.

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