A Killeen woman facing federal charges related to the homicide of a Fort Hood soldier is asking a federal judge to throw out the three-count indictment against her.
Cecily Aguilar, 22, has been held without bond in the McLennan County Jail since her arrest in July of 2020.
Aguilar is accused of helping her boyfriend dispose of Vanessa Guillen’s body after he had killed her with a hammer on April 22, 2020, according to a criminal complaint.
Aguilar has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence and two substantive counts of tampering with evidence. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each count, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas.
No trial date is set in the case, but a motion hearing is set for May 25 at the federal courthouse in Waco. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske will hear arguments on another pretrial motion, a “motion to suppress” that was filed on March 24 by Aguilar’s defense attorney.
According to that motion, Aguilar made statements during an interview with police without being advised of her Miranda rights, which would be a violation of her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Motion to dismiss
In his motion that was filed on Tuesday, Aguilar’s defense attorney argues that the three-count indictment against his client is too vague.
“Ms. Aguilar first moves to dismiss each count of the indictment for lack of specificity, because they do not include sufficient factual allegations to apprise her of the charges,” writes Lewis B. Gainor, supervisory assistant federal public defender for the Western District of Texas, in his motion. “The indictment in this case is shockingly bereft of factual detail ... Each count is largely a recitation of the statutory language of the offense it charges, with limited or no application to Ms. Aguilar.”
He also argues that the indictment should be thrown out because of the double jeopardy clause. “The same offense is charged in more than one count,” according to the motion to dismiss. “An indictment is multiplicitous if it charges a single offense in multiple counts, thus raising the potential for multiple punishment for the same offense, implicating the Fifth Amendment double jeopardy clause.”
As of press time, the judge had not ruled on the motion to dismiss.
Vanessa Guillen case
Months after Guillen, 20, was reported missing on April 23, 2020, her remains were discovered on June 30, 2020, by contractors working along the Leon River near Belton.
The criminal complaint alleges that Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, 20, killed Guillen on April 22, 2020, with a hammer and that Aguilar helped him attempt to “dispose of the body.”
Robinson died on July 1, 2020, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was confronted by Killeen police.
Aguilar initially lied to police to cover for Robinson, but later helped investigators by letting them record several phone conversations with him, according to the complaint.