Parents' Outburst Interrupts Hearing in Muslim Girl's Death - NBC 7 San Diego
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Parents' Outburst Interrupts Hearing in Muslim Girl's Death

The 17-year-old high school student was killed during Ramadan as she headed to a mosque

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    News4's David Culver is outside the courthouse where protesters have gathered and emotion overflowed in response to the killing of Nabra Hassanen. (Published Monday, Oct. 16, 2017)

    The man accused of killing a Muslim teenage girl as she headed to a mosque in Virginia during Ramadan appeared in court Friday, and her devastated parents interrupted court proceedings. 

    "You killed my daughter!" Nabra Hassanen's father shouted. He stood on a courtroom bench and lunged at the accused, Darwin Martinez Torres, in a packed courtroom Friday afternoon. 

    Hassanen's mother hurled a shoe at Torres from across the courtroom and screamed "I kill you!"

    Torres did not react.

    Deputies rushed into the packed courtroom to maintain order. The judge and Torres were immediately escorted out of the room for their safety. Other people, who shouted curse words at Torres, also were led out. Deputies pulled Hassanen's father out of the courtroom as he shouted.

    After the outburst, Ray Morrogh, the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney, said he sympathized with the Hassanens.

    "I just feel for those people. They're so nice. They're so nice," Morrogh said, shaking his head.

    After the uproar, Tores waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

    Hassanen, who was 17, was beaten to death on June 18 as she returning to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Sterling, Virginia.

    Torres was charged with murder but not a hate crime. Prosecutors say he lashed out in a case of road rage. 

    The case drew national attention, #JusticeforNabra was used internationally and vigils for Hassanen were held across the country.

    Hassanen's father, Mohmod Hassanen, briefly spoke outside the courthouse, where at least 100 people chanted "Justice for Nabra."

    “Every day, I think about my daughter," he said.

    “She think about other people, but today she's not with me. I lose her. But we say Alhamdulillah," Hassanen continued, using the Arabic expression for "Thanks be to God."

    "Alhamdulillah," the crowd echoed.

    "Alhamdulillah," Hassanen repeated, to the crowd's echo again.

    People assembled outside the courthouse -- many of them teenagers -- held posters with photos and drawings of Hassanen on them. In some of the drawings, Hassanen wears a hijab with the American flag printed on it. 

    The night Hassanen was killed, she was walking in a group of about 15 teenagers during a break from Ramadan prayers. A driver approached them and began arguing with one of the boys in the group, police said.

    Torres chased the group in his car and drove onto a curb, police said. He got out of the car with a baseball bat and hit Hassanen with it, police said.

    Then, he drove away with her in his car, attacked her again and dumped her body in a pond in Loudoun County.

    Earlier this year, about 5,000 mourners attended Hassanen's funeral, where people spoke about her kindness and openness. 

    Hassanen's younger sister, Noor, attended a vigil that night.

    "I just want to thank everybody for your love and support, and I just want to say to Nabra, I love you and I will always miss you," she said.