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Full Trial on Nabra Hassanen Murder Goes to Court Early Next Year

Darwin Martinez Torres, 23, accused of raping and murdering Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Reston, will be going to trial in January.

According to the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, motions for the case are scheduled for Nov. 29 and the date for the full trial in January has not been established yet.

Torres’ seven-count indictment includes charges of rape and capital murder.

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

Hassanen was attacked when she was returning from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling after a pre-dawn meal 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 and police believe the crime was not motivated by Hassanen’s religion, but was a road rage incident.

The Washington Post also reports that Torres’ defense team is alleging that Torres is intellectually disabled as a result of toxins in a gold mine near where he grew up in El Salvador. If Torres is found to have significant mental issues, he cannot receive the death penalty.

Photo via FCPD

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Monday Morning Notes

Attempts to introduce new evidence in Nabra Hassanen trial — According to recent court filings, prosecutors plan to introduce evidence during a capital murder trial suggesting the man accused of killing Nabra Hassanen, a Reston teenager, was suspected of being a member of the MS-13 street gang. Darwin Martinez Torres’s brother-in-law believed the 23-year-old alleged killer was affiliated with the gang. [The Washington Post]

What’s the state of the arts — Fairfax County government is conducting a survey to understand how to better meet the visual and performing arts needs of its residents. All responses will remain anonymous and confidential. [Fairfax County Government]

The Great American Read book club tonight — Join book lovers for a discussion about “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. The discussion is open to adults only. [Reston Regional Library]

Viewpoints from Herndon residents — Local residents offer their thoughts on their experiences living in Herndon, including the best places to go, events to check out and lingering concerns. [The Connection]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Reston Financial Advisor Gets 12 Years in Investment Scam

Gavel/file photoThe owner of a Reston-based financial services firm was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to a wire fraud that prosecutors say cheated investors out of more than $35 million.

William Dean Chapman, 44, of Sterling, was the founder of Reston-based Alexander Capital Markets. Prosecutors say 122 investors lost a collective $36 million over several years. One investor, an elected official identified in court papers only by the initials A.G., lost $18 million.

Officials said that investors would transfer stock holdings to Chapman as collateral for loans. Chapman then sold the stocks, despite promising investors that they would get back the value of their stocks.

Chapman tried to withdraw his guilty plea before Friday’s sentencing in federal court in Alexandria but was denied.

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