Soldier accused of leading anti-U.S. militia charged in wife's slaying
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia soldier accused of plotting attacks as leader of an anti-government militia group was charged with murder by the Army on Wednesday in the 2011 death of his pregnant wife.
Pvt. Isaac Aguigui of Cashmere, Wash., will face a military hearing to determine if a court-martial should try him in the death of his wife, Army Sgt. Deirdre Aguigui, said Fort Stewart officials in southeast Georgia. The Army also charged Aguigui with causing the death of an unborn child, a boy, when his wife died in July 2011. Military authorities spent nearly two years investigating, but have not released any details about the killing.
“Every victim deserves to have their case prosecuted. In this case it took some time,” said Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson.
Less than five months after his wife's death, Aguigui and three fellow Fort Stewart soldiers were charged by civilian authorities in the December 2011 shooting deaths of Michael Roark, a former member of their Army unit, and Roark's 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York. Civilian prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Aguigui, saying he ordered the deaths to keep the couple from exposing the militia group.
Civilian prosecutors said in court last August that Aguigui, 21, recruited and led a group of disgruntled Army soldiers who plotted attacks ranging from bombing a park fountain in Savannah to poisoning apple crops in Washington state. They said the group also wanted to assassinate an American president, though prosecutors never specified if the target was President Obama.
None of the attacks were ever carried out.
Prosecutors said in court that Aguigui used a $500,000 life insurance payout from his wife's death to buy guns and bomb-making materials.
Roark's father, Brett Roark, said the slayings of his son and York could have been prevented had the Army charged Aguigui sooner in his wife's death.
“The original command structure didn't do their job,” Roark said. “This should have stopped at her murder.”
Aguigui's attorney, Newell Hamilton, declined to comment on any of the charges against the soldier.
An Army linguist, Deirdre Aguigui became pregnant after returning home to Fort Stewart from a deployment to Iraq. A few months later, on July 17, 2011, the 24-year-old woman was found dead at the couple's home on the Army post.
It's not clear how Deirdre Aguigui died. Fort Stewart officials and the woman's family have declined to discuss her death because of an ongoing investigation.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Boston police officer improving after surgery to remove bullet near ear
- Drownings in Rio Grande spike as enforcement surges
- Pence: ‘Not going to change’ religious freedom law
- Doctors push end-of-life care talks
- 2 bodies found at site of gas explosion in NYC apartments
- Maryland might owe federal government millions for health care exchange
- Despite high gas costs, Northeast resistant to pipelines
- Before leak, NSA mulled ending phone program
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Mining for tourists? A dubious economic savior in Appalachia
- Texas Sen. Cruz kicks off presidential campaign at Christian college