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Texan Woman Who Helped Hide US Soldier Vanessa Guillen’s Body Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas woman was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for helping dispose of the body of a U.S. soldier, whose 2020 killing sparked a movement of women speaking out about sexual abuse in the military and led to changes in how they can report it.

Cecily Aguilar is the only suspect arrested in the death of Vanessa Guillén, who was killed at Fort Cavazos, formerly known as Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas. Aguilar was 24 years old when she pleaded guilty in November at a federal court in Waco, Texas, to one count of accessory to murder after the fact and three counts of making a false statement.

The sentence came after hours of testimony from attorneys, experts and Guillén’s family. It was the maximum punishment Aguilar could receive, said Jaime Esparza, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas.

“Our hope is that today’s sentence brings a sense of relief and justice to the Guillén family, who have endured such pain throughout these past few years,” Esparza said.

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Aguilar aided boyfriend Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, 20, of Calumet City, Illinois, in dismembering and disposing of Guillén’s body in a rural, wooded area near the base, according to federal and state authorities. Robinson died by suicide on July 1, 2020, the day Guillén’s remains were found.

“We finally have closure in this case,” said attorney Natalie Khawam, who represents Guillén’s family.

A psychologist called as a witness for the defense testified Monday that Aguilar has reactive attachment disorder, meaning she did not form healthy emotional bonds with her parents or caregivers. Dr. Jon Matthew Fabian said the condition wouldn’t keep Aguilar from knowing right or wrong.

Guillén was declared missing in April 2020, when her family said they did not hear from her for an unusual amount of time after she was called in for a shift in the military base’s armory room.


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