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Military Missteps Allowed Soldier Accused of Murder to Flee, Report Says


Military investigators detained a fellow soldier within the killing of Specialist Vanessa Guillén simply hours after her stays had been discovered, however a sequence of missteps allowed the soldier to flee, then fatally shoot himself, based on an Military report launched Friday that examined what went mistaken within the high-profile homicide investigation.

The revelation is a part of an in depth report into the response to the homicide, which has rocked the Military and sparked requires elevated accountability. Among the many findings are conclusions that Specialist Guillen was sexually harassed, however not by the soldier who the Military believes killed her, and that the suspected killer had additionally been accused of unrelated sexual harassment.

In each instances, the report concludes, leaders didn’t reply appropriately. In response, the Military introduced on Friday, it has punished 21 troopers and officers who didn’t act.

Credit score…U.S. Military

“It was devastating to all of us,” Maj. Gen. Gene LeBoeuf mentioned in a telephone name with reporters. “We as an Military failed to guard Vanessa Guillén.”

Specialist Guillén, 20, was working at an armory at Fort Hood on April 22, 2020, when, based on a federal grievance, Specialist Aaron Robinson, 20, bludgeoned her with a hammer, eliminated her physique from the put up in a big cargo field, then dismembered and burned her stays. On Friday, Military leaders declined to debate potential motives.

The household of Specialist Guillén mentioned she had beforehand voiced issues about sexual harassment at work, however by no means formally reported them. Military investigators mentioned they discovered no proof of sexual harassment.

Specialist Guillén was reported lacking the subsequent day. Hundreds of troopers looked for her in buildings, barracks, fields and coaching areas at Fort Hood. On June 30, her stays had been discovered close to the Leon River in Bell County, Texas.

Specialist Robinson was detained by the Military a short while later however escaped and some hours later shot himself when confronted by the police. Authorities have charged his former girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, with serving to to cover the physique and impeding the investigation.

The Military report launched Friday lays out for the primary time the final hours of Specialist Robinson’s life and the missteps that allowed him to flee.

At about 5 p.m. on June 30, hours after staff found Specialist Guillén’s stays in a shallow grave capped by cement, an agent from Military Prison Investigation Command referred to as Specialist Robinson’s unit and informed them to place the soldier underneath strict statement.

The soldier’s commander mentioned he was being detained for violating Covid-19 quarantine guidelines, and positioned him in a convention room with an unarmed soldier guarding the door. He appeared relaxed, the report mentioned, however whereas he was upset that he was being detained, he spent a lot of his time taking part in video video games.

Authorities let Specialist Robinson maintain his cellphone, which they had been monitoring.

After a number of hours, commanders realized new info that made them involved Specialist Robinson would attempt to flee, the report mentioned. One officer mentioned in a textual content chain that if he tried to flee, the guards wanted to “deal with his ass and name the MPs.” The soldier guarding Specialist Robinson didn’t get the message, the report mentioned.

Simply after 10 p.m. Specialist Robinson acquired a telephone name that gave the impression to be from his mom. “Don’t imagine what you hear about me,” a guard heard him say. A couple of minutes after the decision, Specialist Robinson fled out the door.

Three hours later, Military and civilian police discovered Specialist Robinson within the metropolis of Killeen, simply outdoors the gates of Fort Hood. When confronted, the soldier pulled out a gun and killed himself.

Within the telephone name Friday, Maj. Gen. LeBoeuf mentioned he couldn’t touch upon Specialist Robinson’s escape, saying it was a part of an ongoing legal investigation. The Military report discovered {that a} breakdown in communication between the soldier’s unit and legal investigation brokers allowed him to flee.

The loss of life of Specialist Guillén sparked an outpouring of anger and frustration that echoed the protests over the loss of life of George Floyd and the #MeToo motion. Troopers offended at what they are saying is a pervasive environment of sexual harassment and assault within the navy started posting their tales with the hashtag “#IAmVanessaGuillen.” Celebrities and politicians quickly joined the cause.

The questions surrounding the soldier’s loss of life have pressured a reckoning within the Military over how the drive responds to stories of harassment and violence.

In December, a sweeping investigation into the local weather and tradition at Fort Hood, the place scores of soldiers have died by murder and suicide previously 5 years, discovered “main flaws” that left girls “weak and preyed upon, however fearful to report and be ostracized and re-victimized.”

The killing and the issues laid naked have prompted Congress to introduce sweeping reform payments aimed on the navy justice system. One invoice, named after Specialist Guillén, would make sexual harassment against the law within the navy; one other would remove commanders from the function of prosecuting sexual assault instances, as a substitute placing them within the palms of unbiased navy legal professionals.

Congress can also be mulling proposals that will overhaul the Military’s Prison Investigative Command, giving it an unbiased civilian management and shifting duties from enlisted apprentice brokers to more-experienced civilian investigators.



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