Judge declines to silence family of slain Fort Hood soldier
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A federal magistrate judge has rejected a motion filed by the attorney representing a Killeen woman accused of helping her boyfriend dismember and bury the remains of slain Fort Hood Spc. Vanessa Guillen that sought to silence Guillen’s family members and the attorney who represents them.
Cecily Anne Aguilar, 22, of Killeen, remains in custody, charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence and two counts of tampering with evidence.
In the motion Aguilar’s attorney, Lewis B. Gainor, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffery Manske “to prohibit parties, potential witnesses, the victim’s family, and their attorneys from making extrajudicial statements” that “will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding.”
The motion was filed in response to comments from lawyer Natalie Khawam who represents Guillen’s family, which Gainor alleged could “result in an unfair trial because jurors would be biased against Ms. Aguilar.”
In a ruling issued Monday, however, Manske said he found the motion without merit.
“Simply put, there is little to indicate that her statements carry enough influence with the public to meaningfully affect the trial,” he wrote.
“Moving forward, the court will monitor the conduct of the trial participants to safeguard these proceedings against any potential damage of negative pretrial publicity.”
Manske added a caveat.
“The trial participants and their representatives are admonished however, that if future circumstances warrant, the court may revisit this issue on its own motion.”
Guillen was last seen sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 22 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.
On June 30, contractors working on a fence along the river discovered what appeared to be human remains.
Investigators searched the area “and identified scattered human remains that appeared to have been placed into a concrete-like substance and buried.”
The remains were later confirmed to be Guillen’s.
A chilling federal affidavit released on July 2 says Spc. Aaron David Robinson, of Calumet City, Ill., beat Guillen, with a hammer and that her body was later dismembered and burned.
Robinson shot himself in the head early in the morning on July 1 in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue as Killeen officers approached him.
He died at the scene.
Authorities later arrested Aguilar, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier.
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