ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — A man accused of raping and killing a 13-year-old girl in 2018 had his trial continued on Thursday, a Robeson County Court official confirmed to News13.
Michael McLellan was originally tentatively set to go on trial Sept. 18, but a motion to continue the trial was granted by North Carolina Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James Gregory Bell.
A 2024 trial date is scheduled to be announced in June, the court official told News13.
Hania Aguilar, 13, was kidnapped from a yard in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in the Lumberton area on Nov. 5, 2018. Officials said she was forced into a stolen SUV and an Amber Alert was issued by state officials shortly after 10 a.m. on Nov. 5.
A body, which was later identified as that of Aguilar, was found off Wire Grass Road in the Lumberton area on Nov. 27, 2018.
An indictment returned on May 6, 2019, charged McLellan with first-degree murder, first-degree force sex offense; statutory sexual offense with a person less than 15 years of age; larceny of a motor vehicle; felonious restraint; abduction of children; conealing/failing to report the death of a child; first-degree forcible rape; statutory rape of a child younger than 15; and first-degree kidnapping.
In June 2019, News13 learned that prosecutors would seek the death penalty against McLellan for Aguilar’s kidnapping, rape, and murder.