Darwin Martinez-Torres Pleads Guilty to Murder of Nabra Hassanen

by Catherine Douglas Moran November 28, 2018 at 11:45 am 11 Comments

Darwin Martinez Torres, 25, pleaded guilty today (Nov. 28) to raping and murdering Nabra Hassanen of Reston, according to news reports.

His trial was set for January, according to the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

The prosecution agreed not to pursue the death penalty after consulting with the Hassanen’s family, NBC 4 reported.

Torres’ defense team said Torres has a learning disability and a low IQ, but that he is competent enough to take responsibility for the crime and to plead guilty to eight counts in Hassanen’s murder trial, ABC 7’s Tim Barber tweeted.

The plea deal imposes a life sentence, and he will not be eligible for probation, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors in the case planned to introduce evidence that Torres was a member of MS-13, though police are not saying that the crime was gang-related, according to the Washington Post.

The Washington Post also reported that Torres’ defense team planned to allege that Torres is intellectually disabled as a result of toxins in a gold mine near where he grew up in El Salvador.

Torres faces the possibility the deportation after ICE placed a detainer on Torres following his arrest.

Hassanen was attacked when she was walking with a group of Muslim teens after a Ramadan service at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling in June 2017. Fairfax County police say Hassanen was attacked with a baseball bat before she was abducted, sexually assaulted and killed.

Her body was found in a pond near Torres’ apartment.

Police said they believed the crime was not motivated by Hassanen’s religion, but by a road rage incident.

Hassanen’s death drew widespread attention, with #JusticeForNabra vigils held in Reston and across the country.

Photos via FCPD and LaunchGood.com

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