July 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Soldier from Cashmere pleads guilty in double slaying
ATLANTA — A soldier from Eastern Washington accused of running an anti-government militia has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for a double slaying.
Pvt. Isaac Aguigui of Cashmere, Chelan County, pleaded guilty as part of a deal that spared him the death penalty on two counts of murder with malice. He also pleaded guilty to four counts of violating Georgia’s anti-gang law. He was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Prosecutors said Aguigui and three fellow soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia were part of a militia group called Forever Enduring Always Ready (FEAR). The defendants were accused of fatally shooting a former member of their Army unit and the man’s 17-year-old girlfriend.
Investigators say Aguigui ordered the deaths of Michael Roark and Tiffany York in 2011 to keep them from exposing the group’s plans.
Aguigui’s attorney, Newell Hamilton Jr., declined to comment.
Aguigui was home-schooled in Cashmere, joining the Army after graduation. He married fellow soldier Dierdre Wetzker at Fort Stewart, according to news reports and interviews with family.
Wetzker, 24, died in 2011 at Fort Stewart while pregnant with the couple’s son. Aguigui was charged in her death in April, and earlier this month, there was an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury in civilian court, to determine whether there was enough evidence for a court martial and whether to seek the death penalty, according to the online news site FortStewart Patch.
Information from The Seattle Times archives was included in this report.
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