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The girlfriend of Vanessa Guillen’s suspected killer is hoping to have her confession tossed out, according to documents filed in a Texas court this week.
Cecily Aguilar is accused of helping her boyfriend, Spc. Aaron Robinson, dismember Guillen’s body and dispose of the remains, after authorities said he beat Guillen to death with a hammer at a Fort Hood military base on April 22.
Guillen had been a soldier at the Fort Hood military base alongside her alleged killer.
Aguilar later told investigators that Robinson asked her to help dispose of Guillen’s body after he removed it from the base; her attorneys are now arguing that the confession was obtained under illegal conditions, according to local station KWTX.
In court documents filed Wednesday that were obtained by The Houston Chronicle, her attorneys said Aguilar was questioned for three hours in a windowless room about Robinson’s suspected involvement in the death and had obtained a statement from Aguilar without reading her Miranda rights or telling Aguilar she had a right to an attorney.
Aguilar allegedly provided the statement after she left her workplace and drove with another individual to Fort Hood, according to the documents also obtained by local station KPRC.
Officers reportedly pulled the van over and detained both Aguilar and the driver, who they later let go. While they told Aguilar she wasn’t under arrest and was free to leave as well, they also asked her to accompany them to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Office in Fort Hood. She allegedly agreed to go for further questioning.
Her attorneys said Texas Ranger Travis Dendy interrogated her for more than three hours.
“The officers did not read Ms. Aguilar her Miranda rights at the beginning of the interrogation. They did not tell her anything she said could be held against her in court. They did not say she had the right to an attorney during questioning. And they did not ask if she was willing to waive those rights,” the motion says.
The interrogation occurred the same day investigators found Guillen’s dismembered body. Cell photo data from Aguilar and Robinson’s phones allegedly placed them both in the area the night Guillen disappeared.
“This interrogation followed a months-long investigation that revealed Ms. Aguilar had lied to officers and that human remains were found in the same location where Ms. Aguilar and Robinson had been according to cellular data,” the court documents allege. “The officers confronted Ms. Aguilar with her lies and the discovering of the body, and then encouraged her to tell them what happened to help herself — without ever explaining those statements could be used against her or that she had the right to an attorney. The two-step strategy was deliberate.”
Aguilar reportedly told Dendy that she had lied about not leaving the house on the night of April 22, before explaining that Robinson had taken her to the woods, showed her Guillen’s body and forced her to help dismember the body, the court documents said.
“Think of anything and everything to save yourself right now,” Dendy allegedly told her at the time, according to the motion.
Aguilar’s attorneys have argued that she felt trapped and had cried repeatedly during the interrogation.
She also agreed to conduct several controlled calls to Robinson, but authorities were unable to locate him and she was placed under arrest.
“At that point, Dendy explained her Miranda rights, and she continued assisting officers,” the court documents stated according to KWTX.
Robinson died by suicide the next day, on July 1, 2020, as authorities closed in on him.
Aguilar is facing one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence in the case. She has pleaded not guilty, KXAN reports.
Guillen’s sister, Lupe Guillen, told The Chronicle that Aguilar’s attempt to retract the confession seems wrong.
“What we wouldn’t give…to see Vanessa one more time,” she said.
She added that her family plans to attend Aguilar’s trial in Waco.
“Anything that involves Vanessa, we will be there,” she said. “We will have to be there.”
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