Man Charged in Nabra Hassanen's Death Indicted on Capital Murder Count


A capital murder charge can be punishable by death.

Hassanen, of Reston, was attacked and killed in June near the Loudoun-Fairfax county line.

Police have said that Martinez-Torres, who is an undocumented immigrant, got into a confrontation on June 18 with a group of teens walking back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society after grabbing a late meal. Under state law, the combination of rape and premeditated murder charges allow prosecutors the option of pursuing the death penalty if Martinez-Torres is found guilty.

Detectives said previously that they were investigating whether Torres sexually assaulted Nabra before or after the attacks.

A friend of Hassanen's mother told DCW50 that the teen and her friends were walking their bikes from the ADAMS Center mosque to a nearby IHOP on Saturday when her group was reportedly confronted by Torres in what police characterized as a "road rage incident". Police said Nabra's body was later discovered in a pond.

Hassanen's killing sparked outrage and solidarity on social media, with many activists calling on police to investigate it as a hate crime.

Hassanen's father thanked the community after the hearing for supporting the family. "I think nobody can forget her too, for what she did in her life". Nabra's mother Sawsan Gazzar apparently threw a shoe at Martinez-Torres during the proceedings. "All of us came here today for justice for Nabra". "They will see to it that there is justice for Nabra".

After the brief hearing ended, about 200 people demonstrated outside under the U.S. flag, calling for "Justice for Nabra".

Nabra is believed to have tripped on the hem of her robe as she was running and fell, causing Martinez-Torres to catch her. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has lodged a detainer against Martinez-Torres, who is from El Salvador, meaning federal authorities believe they have evidence he's in the country illegally.