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6 News Legal Analyst weighs in on Cecily Aguilar's plea agreement

After new developments in the Vanessa Guillen case, 6 News Legal Analyst Liz Mitchell weighed in on federal sentencing and her analysis of plea the agreement.

WACO, Texas — Following Cecily Aguilar pleading guilty in connection to the disappearance and murder of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, 6 News Legal Analyst Liz Mitchell weighed in on how plea agreements come about and her analysis of the deal Aguilar received.

Mitchell said a plea agreement is the preferred route in most cases, especially when there is uncertainty in the case.

"I think that it's safe to assume that generally all parties are usually trying to reach an agreement and avoid a jury trial. There's just so many unknown factors when you are trying a case before a jury that generally both sides prefer to reach a plea agreement," she explained.

Mitchell tells 6 News there would be many reasons why prosecutors and the defense are able to settle on a plea agreement, one of them being uncertainty of evidence in a case.

She said some questionable parts of the case would be motions to suppress, issues of miranda rights, an interrogation with Aguilar and the possibility that Aguilar would have had the right to appeal if she faced a jury.

However, Aguilar lost that right after taking her plea deal Tuesday.

"With this guilty plea, she has waived all right to appeal," Mitchell said. "So, all previous motions to suppress are waived and final. There are no issues that could be raised on appeal."

Aguilar pleaded guilty to four of the 11 charges she faced. Mitchell says if she would've faced a jury and been found guilty on all charges, her punishment most likely would've been worse.

"She might be facing a maximum of 30 years versus life in prison," Mitchell said.

The plea agreement has Aguilar facing up to 30 years, but a judge will have a final say for her punishment.The sentencing will be determined based off a federal guideline.

"The judge is going to look at the factors surrounding this particular offense," Mitchell added. "It's fair to say that the egregious pneus of this offense will definitely be factored in on the judge's sentence."

Aguilar's criminal history, presentencing interviews and other parties' testimonies will also factor in.

Mitchell says most defendants being sentenced in a federal system, like Aguilar, are spending about 80 percent of their sentence incarcerated.

Aguilar's sentencing hearing won't be set for at least another 90 days.

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