A defense attorney filed a motion this week attempting to keep a jury from hearing an alleged confession of a woman who is accused of helping her boyfriend cover up the murder of a 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier almost a year ago.
Cecily Aguilar, 22, was being held without bond in the McLennan County Jail on Thursday. She is accused of helping Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, 20, dispose of the body of Vanessa Guillen after he had killed her with a hammer on April 22, 2020, according to a federal criminal complaint.
During a hearing next month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske is set to rule on a 16-page “motion to suppress” that was filed by Aguilar’s defense attorney on Wednesday.
According to the motion, Aguilar made statements during an interview with police on June 30, 2020, without being advised of her Miranda rights, which would be a violation of her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
“The officers did not provide Aguilar (with) Miranda warnings until after three hours of questioning,” the motion reads. “Instead, they encouraged her to tell them about the alleged crime in order to help herself, without ever informing her that what she said could be used against her in court…”
Aguilar’s defense attorney claims that her Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure were violated before the statements were made, when police performed a traffic stop on a vehicle in which she was a passenger.
“The detention morphed into an arrest. (The traffic stop) was not supported by a warrant or reasonable suspicion,” according to the motion. “Any evidence obtained from the illegal seizures and fruits therefrom should be suppressed.”
A hearing on the motion to suppress will be held on April 27 at the federal courthouse in Waco.
Aguilar pleaded not guilty on July 14, 2020, 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.
So far, four trial dates — most recently for March 8 — have been set in her case. As of Thursday, no new trial date has been set.
Vanessa Guillen case
The case dates back 11 months. Guillen was reported missing on April 23, 2020.
Months later, on June 30, 2020, her remains were discovered by contractors working along the Leon River near Belton.
The criminal complaint alleges that Robinson murdered 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, officials said.
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.