Muslim Teen's Slaying Now a Death Penalty Case

Authorities now say that Nabra Hassanen was raped by Darwin Martinez-Torres
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2017 7:58 AM CDT
This undated image provided by the Hassanen family shows Nabra Hassanen.   (Courtesy Hassanen Family via AP)
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(Newser) – The man accused of killing a Muslim teenager in a case that drew national attention in June will face the death penalty. Prosecutors in Fairfax, Va., laid out their case Monday in the slaying of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, and it includes a disturbing new revelation. For the first time, authorities say that 22-year-old Darwin Martinez-Torres also raped the teenager, reports the Washington Post. The allegation is significant: As the AP explains, Virginia law allows prosecutors to pursue the death penalty if a murder occurs during the commission of a rape or during an abduction with intent to defile. "You conform the charges to what the evidence will show," says Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh. "It is my intention to seek the death penalty."

Nabra was killed on June 18 after she and a group of Muslim teens were confronted by a motorist as they walked back to their mosque in Sterling about 3:40am. The teens had gone out for breakfast ahead of fasting for Ramadan. Police say the driver chased the teens with a baseball bat, and witnesses recall seeing him standing over Nabra before putting her into his vehicle. Police have called the slaying a result of road rage, though Muslim groups say that it's a hate crime and that the driver went after the teens because they were Muslim. Authorities say they have found no evidence to back up that assertion. (Read more capital murder stories.)

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