WACO, Texas — Cecily Aguilar, the only person charged in the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, was due in court Thursday as her defense team seeks to have her indictment dismissed by a judge.
"It's important to remember that every defendant is entitled to due process and an effective assistance of counsel," said 6 News Legal Expert Liz Mitchell, when asked about the long process and continuances. "We want to make sure they are receiving a fair trial."
Mitchell said that, with that in mind, there's always a time to move forward and get things moving to a trial.
"I'm sure that the judge is being diligent in making sure they have heard all the pre-trial motions, and things like that, but there comes a time where the defendant has been in prison for an x-amount of years on tax payer dollars when the case really just needs to be put before a jury."
Aguilar, 22, was indicted by a federal grand jury in July on three counts of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. Aguilar pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond. There has been a series of continuances in the case as her attorney looks to have her indictment dismissed.
A trial date was originally set for September 28, 2021 but never made it to jury selection because of continuances filed by the Aguilar's her defense.
Mitchell said this is commonplace and nothing new, agreeing when asked if it's a heavy lift for the defense team to be successful.
"The State just really needs to prove that there's probable cause enough to meet the elements of the indictment," Mitchell told 6 News. "Once they get the case in front of the jury, the defense might raise the motion to dismiss again after the State rests but it seems like there's quite a bit of evidence in this case and quite a bit of testimony and things that really go in the State's favor and at this point to dismiss an indictment seems very unlikely,"
Mitchell said that if the judge was to deny the motion Thursday, it would mean it's time to set a trial date and move forward with seating a jury.
"If the motion to dismiss is denied... a trial date will be selected in which both parties are available and the courts are available. Because the defendant is incarcerated, they kind of move to the top of the docket," Mitchell said.
"I'm sure the judge is anxious to get this case tried, I am sure the State is anxious to get this case tried because the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt because you lose track of witnesses and things like that."