A 3rd Infantry Division soldier cited as the alleged ring-leader of the FEAR militia was charged Wednesday in the 2011 death of his wife and their unborn child.
Pvt. Isaac G. Aguigui was charged with one count of Article 118, murder, in the July 17, 2011 death of Sgt. Deirdre Aguigui, and one count of Article 119a, death of an unborn child, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
A Fort Stewart news statement said the charges resulted from a U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command investigation in cooperation with state and federal authorities.
The preferring of charges against a soldier is the first step in the court-martial process, the statement said. The next step is an Article 32 pretrial investigation hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury.
The Army’s hearing, however, provides greater procedural rights for the soldier, like the right to be present during the public hearing, the right to present evidence, the right to cross-examine witnesses and the right to have a defense lawyer.
The hearing will be conducted on Fort Stewart by a military officer. The evidence obtained and the officer’s recommendation will be provided to a senior military officer who then may dispose of the case or recommend a trial by court-martial to Fort Stewart’s senior commander.
A date has not yet been set for the hearing.
Aguigui, from Cashmere, Wash., also faces civil charges in Long County connected to the December 2011 slayings of Michael Roark and Tiffany York. His charges include malice murder, felony murder and illegal gang activity.
During an August 2012 hearing, prosecutors alleged that Aguigui funded weapons purchases for the “Forever Enduring Always Ready” militia that plotted to take over the military and overthrow the United States government.
Testimony in connection with the case indicates that Roark, a former Army private, was killed alongside his girlfriend, Liberty County High School student York, after Roark left the service.
Michael Burnett, who in August agreed to testify against Aguigui and fellow defendants Anthony Peden, Christopher Salmon and Heather Salmon, said Aguigui referred to Roark as “a loose end.”
Prosecutors said $500,000 in life insurance benefits from Deirdre Aguigui’s death supported the group’s activities.
According to a July 24, 2011 obituary, the late Aguigui had been at Fort Stewart since 2009. She was a native of St. Louis, Mo.
Previous reports indicate Aguigui said his wife was not feeling well and went to her room to take a nap on the day of her death. Prosecutor Isabel Pauley said in August the death was “highly suspicious.”