The man suspected of killing a Muslim teenage girl as she headed to a mosque in Virginia this summer may face the death penalty.
Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh told News4 he will seek the death penalty against Darwin Martinez Torres.
A grand jury indicted Torres on capital murder and rape charges on Monday in the killing of Nabra Hassanen. The 17-year-old high school student's death has rattled Muslim communities in northern Virginia and across the country.
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.
Virginia law allows prosecutors to pursue a death penalty case 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 includes four counts of capital murder, with occasionally graphic detail on the ways in which prosecutors believe the slaying qualifies for the death penalty.
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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.
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.
"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!"