Judge in Cecily Aguilar case denies defense request, schedules trial start date for Jan. 2023
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A federal judge on Tuesday denied requests from attorneys for Cecily Ann Aguilar to require prosecutors to provide more specific information about allegations she conspired with her boyfriend to dispose of the remains of Fort Hood Spc. Vanessa Guillen in 2020.
Aguilar, 24, is named in an 11-count superseding indictment with aiding her boyfriend, Army Spc. Aaron David Robinson, who investigators believe killed Guillen, dismembered her body and buried her remains.
Robinson, 20, shot himself in June 2020 as Killeen police officers were on their way to arrest him.
In a hearing Tuesday, Aguilar’s attorneys, Ashley Askari and Lewis Gainor of the Federal Public Defender’s Office, asked U.S. District Judge Alan Albright to order government prosecutors to file a document called a bill of particulars to clarify what the attorneys described as their confusion over specific allegations against Aguilar.
The indictment alleges Aguilar conspired to tamper with documents or proceedings; two counts of tampering with documents or proceedings; three counts of accessory after the fact; one count of destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation; and four counts of false statement or representation.
Askari argued that the superseding indictment doesn’t make it clear who Aguilar is accused of conspiring with and what records or documents she is accused of destroying or altering. She said it is clear that Robinson is the alleged co-conspirator. However, what remains unclear to her is if the government is alleging others are involved.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Frazier told Albright that the government has provided all the information it is required to furnish the defense through the discovery process. He said the defense has more than adequate notice of what Aguilar is charged with and that the allegations in the indictment track the language in federal statutes.
Aguilar also is charged with destroying information in Robinson’s Google account on his cell phone in an effort to impede the investigation. Askari told the judge that Google has multiple accounts and the defense is unclear what account the government is alleging she destroyed. She said the allegations are too vague, which hamstrings the defense in his preparation for trial.
Frazier countered that the defense has all the information it needs to be prepared for trial.
After Albright denied the defense motions, he scheduled Aguilar’s trial to begin on Jan. 23, 2023.
Guillen, whose family recently filed a lawsuit against the Army, was last seen on the night of April 22, 2020, in the parking lot of her 3rd Cavalry Regiment Engineer Squadron Headquarters. Keys to her car and her barracks room and her ID card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had worked earlier in the day.
More than two months later, on June 30, 2020, contractors working on a fence along the Leon River discovered remains later confirmed to be hers.
The new indictment alleges Aguilar lied when she told investigations she and Robinson were in her apartment from late in the evening on April 22, 2020, through the early morning hours on April 23, 2020. The indictment also alleges Aguilar bought cement to cover the burial sites.
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