A Texas woman who admitted she helped mutilate and conceal the body of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Western Texas, Cecily Aguilar received the maximum sentence for her role in the death of the 20-year-old Army specialist, who disappeared from the base in April 2020. Her remains were found that June in a shallow grave near the base.
Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas, was renamed Fort Cavazos in May.
Aguilar previously pleaded guilty in November to federal charges of of accessory to murder after the fact and three counts of false statement or representation.
Aguilar, 25, was the girlfriend of Aaron Robinson, another soldier who was the main suspect in Guillen’s murder. Robinson fatally shot himself as police moved in to arrest him in the early hours of July 1, 2020, in Houston.
“You received Justice today,” Guillen’s older sister Mayra Guillen wrote on social media. “Rest easy sister. Today was such a hard day, I learned so many details regarding your death after the fact of it’s been 3 YEARS. My heart hurts.”
During the sentencing hearing, witnesses said Aguilar and Robinson returned twice to the site where Guillen was buried — once to dismember her and once again to pour cement in the grave.
Guillen told family and Army officials she had been sexually harassed at the base before her disappearance.
An Army investigation posthumously confirmed her allegations, which led to 14 officials being removed from their positions, several policy reforms and other military changes.
Her family sued the Department of Defense last year for Guillen’s wrongful death, but no settlement has been reached and no trial date has been set.
“Our hope is that today’s sentence brings a sense of relief and justice to the Guillen family, who have endured such pain throughout these past few years,” U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas said in a statement.
“Ms. Aguilar’s actions were indefensible, and she will now face the maximum penalty for the choices she made. 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.”