ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — More than four years after Robeson County teenager Hania Aguilar was kidnapped and murdered, a tentative trial date has finally been set for her accused killer, authorities said.
Michael McLellan is scheduled to go on trial on Sept. 18, according to Robeson County District Attorney Matt Scott. The date was set during a hearing on Monday.
The date remains tentative, however. An administrative court date is scheduled in July, at which time Scott said it will determine whether the trial date will remain the same.
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.
The stolen SUV used in Aguilar’s kidnapping was found in Lumberton, FBI officials announced on Nov. 8, 2018.
A body, which was later identified as that of Hania 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.
Count on News13 for updates.