OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
3:55 PM – Monday, August 14, 2023
The last surviving suspect charged in connection to the murder of U.S. Army specialist Vanessa Guillen has been handed her sentence.
25-year-old Cecily Aguilar appeared before Judge Alan D. Alright in Waco, Texas on Monday. She was sentenced to 30 years behind bars and a $1 million fine for her role in Guillen’s death.
Aguilar pleaded guilty to four lesser charges in connection to Guillen’s death in November of 2022, including one count of accessory to murder.
She admitted to making false statements to law enforcement and helping her boyfriend, Specialist Aaron Robinson, commit the crime.
20-year old Guillen was a U.S. army specialist at Fort Cavazos in Killeen Texas, formerly known as Fort Hood. She disappeared in April 2020 after meeting with Robinson in the armory.
Prosecutors said she was bludgeoned to death with a hammer.
Texas Rangers and other members of law enforcement took the stand on Monday and went over Aguilar’s interrogation. It was not until they took Aguilar to the crime scene when she admitted to the heinous murder.
Robinson and Aguilar dismembered, burned, and buried Guillen’s body. Her remains weren’t discovered until three months later in July and Robinson committed suicide after being questioned by police.
Upon further investigation, authorities determined Guillan was being sexually harassed by a superior.
Investigators uncovered “major flaws” in the military base’s culture and affirmed leaders didn’t take appropriate action after Guillen stepped forward to report being sexually harassed on two separate occasions.
It found Fort Cavazos was “permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault.” Authorities also ordered 14 officials, including some high ranking leaders, to be fired or suspended.
“We as an army failed to protect Specialist Guillen,” Army Major General Gene LeBoeuf told KTBC. “It’s something we are learning from, studying, and using to drive our army forward.”
Guillan’s family has sued the government and is seeking $35 million in damages and wrongful death. They were expected to hold a march outside of the courthouse on Monday.
“This is really important that not just the family but the community knows how important it is that justice gets served in this case and what happened to Vanessa never happens again,” said Guillan family attorney Natalie Khawam.
Aguilar faces a maximum of 30 years behind bars and a $1 million dollar fine.
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CORRECTION (August 15, 2023, 11:42 a.m. PT): article has been updated to reflect the verdict and video package was added.