U.S. soldier accused in militia plot to face trial in wife's death

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 26, 2013 12:55 PM

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A U.S. Army soldier accused of using his wife's $500,000 life insurance benefits to fund an anti-government militia group will face a court-martial on charges that he killed her and their unborn child, a military spokesman said on Thursday.

The Army has accused Private Isaac Aguigui, 22, of asphyxiating his pregnant wife, Sergeant Deirdre Aguigui, in 2011, when she was stationed at Fort Stewart in southern Georgia, said base spokesman Kevin Larson.

Army prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against Isaac Aguigui, whose military trial is set to begin on January 21, Larson said.

Aguigui is serving a life-without-parole sentence after pleading guilty in a civilian court in July to the separate murders of a fellow soldier and his girlfriend.

Three other soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart were charged in the December 2011 shooting deaths of soldier Michael Roark, 19, and his girlfriend, Tiffany York, 17. Prosecutors said they wanted to stop the couple from exposing their anarchist militia group called FEAR, or Forever Enduring Always Ready.

Isaac Aguigui funded the group's activities with the life insurance payout he collected in July 2011, civilian prosecutors said.

The accused militia members, who were indicted last year, plotted to assassinate an American president and to attack Fort Stewart and a dam in Aguigui's home state of Washington, prosecutors said.

The militia members also discussed poisoning the apple crop in Washington state and had purchased $87,000 worth of weapons to carry out their planned attacks, according to prosecutors.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Gunna Dickson)