WACO, Texas —
Editor's Note: The video attached is a report on a separate motion to dismiss that was denied.
The defense team for Cecily Aguilar wants the confession she gave regarding her role in the death of Fort Hood Spc. Vanessa Guillen to be considered inadmissible.
In a motion filed in U.S. District Court on May 19, Aguilar's defense argues that because she wasn't presented before a judge until six days after she was federally charged, her confession should be suppressed. The motion calls this "an unreasonable delay of prompt presentment."
The prosecution argues the delay was because Aguilar was in state custody, not federal.
According to the motion, "The Government still must comply with the presentment requirements, even if a defendant is in state custody, where there exists a 'working arrangement,' 'collusion,' or 'collaboration,' between state and federal officers."
Aguilar's defense argues there was clearly a working arrangement, "as the entire investigation leading up to Ms. Aguilar's arrest and the charges sought after her arrest have all been federal."
Aguilar faces federal charges of tampering with a witness, victim or an informant and destruction and alteration or falsification or records in a federal investigation.
According to a criminal complaint, Aguilar helped Fort Hood Spc. Aaron Robinson dismember and bury the remains of Guillen on April 22, 2020 in an area near the Leon River in Bell County.
Aguilar was arrested June 30 at which point she told investigators everything that happened, according to documents obtained by 6 News. She was presented before a federal judge in the Western District of Texas in Waco on July 6.
Robinson shot and killed himself as Killeen police approached him in the early morning hours of July 1.
Aguilar's defense argues state law enforcement was only involved in the case to support a federal investigation.
"But, the morning after Ms. Aguilar was arrested, a Texas Ranger, credentialed by and working in support of the federal investigation, had her placed in a county jail, thereby enabling investigators to continue to interrogate her, and avoid presenting her to a magistrate until six days later," the motion reads.
Former prosecutor and 6 News legal expert Liz Mitchell said while it's up to the judge, she believes the confession will not be suppressed.
"Officers initially brought Ms. Aguilar to Bell County Jail on an 'investigative hold' for the crime of tampering with a corpse," Mitchell said. "Essentially, this charge would be a second degree felony under Texas Penal Code - PENAL 37.09, Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. In my opinion, because the defendant was being held on state charges, that circumvented any federal presentment requirements."
The prosecution's response to the motion had not been filed in federal court as of May 23.
This is the second time Aguilar's defense has tried to have her confession suppressed. A judge denied that fist motion in March 2021.
A judge also denied a motion in January to have the indictment dismissed altogether.