Attorney asks judge to toss confession of woman charged in Fort Hood soldier’s death
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - An attorney for a woman accused of helping her boyfriend dispose of the body of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen is asking a judge to throw out his client’s confession.
Louis Gainor filed the motion Wednesday on behalf of Cecil Aguilar, who’s charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence.
Federal Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Manske scheduled a hearing on the motion on April 27.
Aguilar told authorities after she was detained on June 30, 2020—the same day remains were found that proved to be Guillen’s—that her boyfriend, Spc. Aaron David Robinson, 20, of Calumet City, Ill., asked her to help dispose of Guillen’s body.
After an interrogation that lasted several hours, she was arrested.
Gainor argues Agular’s arrest wasn’t supported by a warrant or probable case in violation of her Fourth Amendment rights and that her “statements and their fruits must be suppressed because they are not sufficiently attenuated to be free of the taint from the Fourth Amendment violation.”
He also argues the officers didn’t give Aguilar a Miranda warning “until after three hours of questioning.”
“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 or that she had a right to consult with an attorney. This factor weighs against attenuation,” the motion says.,
Guillen was last seen sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on 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, contractors working on a fence along the Leon River discovered remains later confirmed to be hers.
Aguilar was arrested after officers pulled over the van in which she was riding on June 30 on Fort Hood.
She agreed to accompany officers to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Office on Fort Hood to be interviewed, the motion says.
A Texas Ranger questioned her from around 8:30 p.m. until 1 a.m., the motion says, first telling her she was not under arrest and then pressing her on the veracity of her answers.
“After she described the events of April 22 in detail, Ranger Dendy asked, ‘And that’s the story you’re going to stick with?’” the motion says, to which she responded, “Sure.”
Dendy pressed her further, telling her “they found a body where she and Robinson were at on April 22.”
“Ms. Aguilar then told the officers that Robinson took her out to the woods and showed her V.G. dead, in a tough box, and made her help him dismember the body.”
After three hours of interrogation, the motion says, “Dendy told Ms. Aguilar that she would not be going home tonight and that she was under arrest. At that point, Dendy explained her Miranda rights, and she continued assisting officers.”
The arrest came not long after Robinson shot himself to death as Killeen officers approached him.
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