The horrific case of murdered Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen has almost come to a close, as the perpetrator has pleaded guilty to the crime.
In June 2017, news of 17-year-old Hassanen's murder while walking to a mosque in Virginia, the United States, sent shockwaves worldwide.
On Wednesday, 25-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres pleaded guilty to murdering and raping Hassanen, and he will subsequently be sentenced to life in prison.
All, except Hassanen, fled the scene and ran towards the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque, leaving her behind.
Washington Post reports that Martinez Torres admitted to hitting the victim on her head with a baseball bat, dragging her to the back seat of his car, and driving to a place near his apartment in Sterling.
He went on to remove her pants and sexually assault her while she was "unconscious but still alive," according to the perpetrator.
Martinez Torres' defense team argued that he is intellectually disabled and has a low IQ, adding that he had consumed 13 to 16 drinks that night and had smoked synthetic marijuana.
Martinez Torres pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty
As part of a plea deal that will spare him a potential death penalty, Martinez Torres pleaded guilty to capital murder, rape, and other counts. He will formally be sentenced to life without parole in March.
According to ABC News, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond Morrogh said he had consulted with the victim's family before agreeing to spare Martinez Torres the death penalty.
While the crime had raised concerns over the safety of Muslim Americans, investigators did not find any evidence suggesting the crime was motivated by Islamophobia.
Martinez Torres' lawyer, Joseph Flood, said his client regrets his crime but assured it was not a hate crime.
Meanwhile, the victim's father, Mahmoud Hassanen, said he believes his daughter, who wore the Islamic hijab, was attacked because of her faith.
"I remember her everyday. I struggle with all my heart... Never is she going to come back to me," the Washington Post quotes her father as saying.