HOUSTON – Lawyers for Cecily Aguilar, the woman charged in connection with the disappearance of Vanessa Guillen, moved to suppress evidence that her confession was illegally obtained, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
The defense stated that Aguilar’s statements on June 30, 2020, were made while she was not under arrest and was not Mirandized, according to court documents. They requested a hearing to establish the facts and resolve any disputed facts.
The motion hearing is set for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Jeffrey C. Manske of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division.
Aguilar is charged with conspiracy to tamper with the body of Gullien, a Fort Hood soldier who was reported missing in April 2020. She pleads “not guilty”.
According to court documents, officers interviewed Aguilar multiple times during their investigation because they believed her boyfriend, Aaron Robinson, was the last person to see Gullien before she went missing.
On the night in question, which is the same day human remains were found in the area where Robinson’s cell phone was pinged on April 22, 2020, officers spoke with Aguilar at the store where she worked, according to court documents.
Later, officers observed Aguilar get into a van and drive to Fort Hood. The officers then pulled over the van and detained Aguilar and the driver, per court documents.
Aguilar was not permitted to be in Fort Hood, but she said she was looking for a vehicle her estranged husband had left for her, according to the court documents.
Officers let the driver go and informed Aguilar she was not under arrest and was free to leave. However, they also asked if she would like to go with them to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Office in Fort Hood to be interviewed, and she agreed, according to court documents.
Court documents stated Aguilar was not handcuffed, but her phone was not returned, which was taken earlier by an officer because she refused to stop texting during the initial traffic stop.
At the Fort Hood office, Aguilar was led into an integration room where she was constantly watched by at least two officers. Court documents stated that Texas Ranger Travis Dendy entered and interrogated Aguilar from about 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
“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 stated.
The defense also presented several examples from the video-recorded integration to support their claims, including that Dendy told Aguilar that “she did not have to talk to him if she did not want to.”
Aguilar later confused that she previously lied when she said Robinson and her not leaving the house on the night of April 22, according to court documents. She told the police that the two of them went for a long drive.
The motion document said Dendy pushed Aguilar to provide more information, asking her if she was willing to die or go to jail to protect Robinson. The officer also informed her that a body was found near where they had been on April 22.
Aguilar then told officers that Robinson took her to the woods and showed her Gullien’s body in a tough box and made her help him dismember the body, per the court documents.
Dendy told Aguilar to “think of anything and everything to save yourself right now,” per the motion.
Aguilar went on to conduct several controlled calls to Robinson and told officers Robinson would try to escape or shoot himself before being taken into custody.
After three hours of interrogation and failed attempts to help officers locate Robinson, Dendy informed Aguilar that she was under arrest, per the motion. At that point, the officer read Aguilar her Miranda rights and she continued to help the police.
On the next day, July 1, 2020, Robinson, who is suspected of Gullien’s death, died by suicide as police tried to take him into custody. According to Aguilar’s account, on April 22, Robinson killed Guillen by hitting her in the head with a hammer while at Fort Hood.
Here is the motion filed by Aguilar’s defense team: