NewsJustice for Vanessa Guillén


Cecily Aguilar sentenced to 30 years in prison for role in murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillén

Cecily Aguilar
Posted at 9:20 PM, Aug 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-18 17:44:01-05


A Waco federal judge has sentenced Cecily Aguilar to the maximum 30 years in prison with a $1 million fine for her role in the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillén.

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas.

Aguilar's attorneys attempted to sway Judge Alan Albright with claims she was victimized as a child and suffered lasting mental illness, but he said the accomplice to the soldier's murder showed little remorse.

"Ms. Aguilar’s actions were indefensible, and she will now face the maximum penalty for the choices she made," Esparza said. "I’m grateful for our law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly on this case, as their dedication was essential in bringing this defendant to justice.”

Vanessa's family shared their thoughts after the sentencing with the press, revealing the emotions they had felt throughout the process.

"I asked to speak with her alone," said Vanessa Guillén's mother Gloria, on the steps of the Waco federal courthouse.

"I told her 'I hope God forgives you, that God touches your heart and you repent, and that you're a better person the day you get out of prison.'"

Gloria Guillén said she spoke with Aguilar prior to the conference outside of the courthouse.

"Her mother abandoned her," Guillén said.

"She told me, 'I wish I had a mother like you, who stood up for me. I suffered a lot, but I don't know why I did this.'"

Aguilar also stopped reading a prepared statement to the court, turned and addressed the slain Fort Cavazos soldier's family directly.

“I give my sincerest apologies to the family," Aguilar said to the family. " I am ashamed of my actions and the person I was — my actions haunt me every day."

"Vanessa does not deserve what happened to her. I am hoping that one day, Mrs. Guillén, that you will have comfort," she said.


25 News was live inside a Waco federal courtroom as Cecily Aguilar went through the sentencing hearing of the criminal case connected to the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillén.

Justin Duck with Texas Rangers testified shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday that Aaron Robinson, the Fort Cavazos soldier prosecutors say bludgeoned Guillén to death with a hammer, brought the soldier's body to the couple's apartment inside a large plastic tote. Then, the couple "chopped up and skinned her" body on the roadside near the Leon River in Bell County.

Aguilar and Robinson attempted to burn Guillén's remains with gasoline, Duck said. She told investigators they later sealed up parts of the body and put her flesh in a concrete mix before burying them at the crime scene.

Duck also testified that Aguilar admitted during her interrogation that Robinson had sex with Guillén's corpse.

Aguilar was interviewed by the Texas Rangers on three separate occasions. During the first interview on May 19, she denied involvement of Guillén's disappearance. Aguilar initially claimed she and Robinson stayed home the night of April 22.

During the second interview, Duck said investigators confronted Aguilar with cell phone data from her and Robinson's phones the night of Guillén's disappearance. Aguilar then changed her story, saying she suffers from depression and went with Robinson on a drive to "take her mind off things."

The court also heard about Aguilar's time in custody since her 2020 arrest. She's faced many disciplinary actions for violations including: bringing in contraband, intimidating other inmates, disorderly conduct, refusing to go back into her cell and attacking officers.

She's also been removed from general population and placed on suicide watch.

On Monday afternoon, federal prosecutors called a forensic expert to testify about removing parts of Guillén's body from concrete at the crime scene and confirmed finding evidence of blunt force trauma to her skull.

Aguilar's attorneys called a forensic psychologist to testify, who evaluated her on 5 different times. The psychologist diagnosed her with RAD, reactive attachment disorder. A condition they say the condition doesn't impair her thinking or ability to tell right from wrong.

The psychologist testified his report included claims that Aaron Robinson killed Aguilar's pet dog to show her what would happen if she left him. The expert then told the prosecutor they could not verify if the story was true with Aguilar being the only witness.

Family members of Vanessa Guillén are taking the witness stand including her mother, Gloria, who is testifying with help from a translator.


Cecily Aguilar will be sentenced Monday for her role in the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who was slain more than three years ago on Fort Cavazos.


Authorities say Aguilar’s boyfriend, Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, bludgeoned Guillén to death with a hammer on April 22, 2020 inside an armory room on post.

Prosecutors say Aguilar helped Robinson dismember, burn and then bury Guillén’s body along the banks of the Leon River outside of Belton, where police later found her remains more than a month after she was first reported missing.

When authorities confronted Robinson on July 1, he shot and killed himself.

Aguilar was placed under arrest the same day on federal second-degree felony charges for trying to delete phone records implicating her role in the crime.

July 6, 2020 marked the first federal court appearance for Aguilar where a judge set her preliminary hearing for July 14.

At that hearing, she pleaded not guilty to all three of her charges by a federal grand jury indictment: one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence, and two substantive counts of tampering with evidence.

After a judge denied several motions by Aguilar’s defense team to dismiss evidence and a confession, Aguilar was indicted on 11 counts for her role in Guillén’s death.

On November 29, 2022 Aguilar finally pleaded guilty to four of the 11 counts: one count of accessory to murder after the fact and three counts of false statement or misrepresentation.

Aguilar faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million dollar fine.