Cecily Aguilar is in a Texas jail where she was transferred as she awaits her trial in connection with the disappearance and murder of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen. Aaron Robinson, who was the suspect in Guillen’s killing, died by suicide before his arrest and Aguilar is accused of helping him get rid of the body.
Guillen went missing from the Texas Army base April 22, 2020. Her disappearance and murder sparked a storm of advocacy, leading to protests and a proposed bill to combat military sexual harassment. The legislation, named “I Am Vanessa Guillen,” would allow military service members to report sexual harassment or sexual assault allegations to a third party, which would investigate the report. Guillen told her family and fellow soldiers she was sexually harassed before her death, they said after her disappearance.
The case is being examined on ABC 20/20 in a two-hour special, “I Am Vanessa,” which airs at 9/8 C Friday, September 11, 2020.
Here’s what you need to know:
Cecily Aguilar Is Jailed in Waco, Texas Awaiting Trial & a Court Appearance Is Set for September 28, 2020
‘I Am Vanessa Guillen’ | Witness the fight for justice in this true-crime mystery. Now, stunning new unreported details & new exclusive interviews. The powerful all-new 20/20 event special airs Friday at 9|8c on ABC. pic.twitter.com/sdXkC7U4bm
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) September 8, 2020
Aguilar, 22, was Robinson’s girlfriend at the time of Guillen’s death. She told authorities that Robinson killed Guillen by hitting her in the head repeatedly with a hammer. He called her several times that day, and authorities said he hid Guillen’s body in a large box, The New York Times reported, referencing court documents filed in the case.
Jury selection in Aguilar’s trial is set to begin later this month. She is currently jailed in McLennan County Jail in Waco, Texas, according to her prison records. She was initially incarcerated in Bell County Jail, but transferred to the Waco lockup.
Here is her McLennan County Jail record:
Aguilar is scheduled to appear before a judge September 28, 2020, following jury selection, according to KPRC. Attorneys could come to an agreement and enter a plea bargain by September 14. She would then be re-arraigned September 22. Aguilar entered a not-guilty plea at a previous court appearance.
VINELink shows Aguilar’s transfer from Bell County Jail to McLennan County.
That record is here:
Aguilar’s charges are related to allegations she helped Robinson dismember Guillen’s body and helped him attempt to burn her remains. She is charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison, The Times reported.
Guillen’s Family Attorney Said Vanessa Discovered an Affair Between Robinson & Aguilar
Natalie Khawam, Guillen’s family attorney, told ABC News that Guillen had discovered an affair between Robinson and Aguilar, who was the estranged wife of a fellow soldier. Aguilar and Robinson were living together at the time of Guillen’s murder. They had only been living together for a short time.
Authorities say Robinson called Aguilar and confessed to killing Guillen with a hammer, according to USA Today. Before Aguilar disclosed Robinson’s alleged confession, she told investigators she and Robinson went for a drive that night to look at the stars.
Khawam told the Army Times Robinson contacted his girfriend “to help him bury her bloody body.”
“At first they tried to set her on fire, but she wouldn’t burn. Then they dismembered this beautiful U.S. soldier’s body with a machete,” she added.
Ayrren Clough, a close friend of Aguilar, told 20/20 he cannot imagine Aguilar committing the crime for which she is accused.
“I said, ‘There’s no way,'” Clough said. “I just can’t see my best friend doing that to another human. You know, she has a heart. She’s kind to people. And she has a very weak stomach, especially. And for them to say what she was doing and had done, I just couldn’t believe it.”