Death Penalty Possible for Suspect Arrested for Killing 13-Year-Old Hania Aguilar

December 10, 2018 Updated: December 10, 2018

The man accused of kidnapping a North Carolina teenage girl from her front yard, spiriting her away in a stolen vehicle, raping her, and killing her, was denied bond during his first court appearance on Dec. 10.

The judge in Robeson County also said that Michael McLellan, 34, could face the death penalty, reported ABC 11.

When McLellan was identified as the suspect on Dec. 8, he was already being held in jail for an unrelated charge stemming from an alleged armed robbery. That alleged crime happened on Dec. 7. He went to another courtroom on Monday to face that charge.

McLellan was charged with 10 felonies, including first-degree murder, first-degree forcible rape, and abduction of a child.

He appeared before a state magistrate at the Robeson County Detention Center early on Saturday and is being held in the county’s detention center with no bond.

Abduction and Search

Hania Aguilar, 13, was grabbed from her front yard in Lumberton on Nov. 5 by a man dressed in black wearing a yellow bandana and spirited away in a stolen vehicle.

The stolen vehicle was found on Nov. 8.

The community mourned the loss of Aguilar after her body was found.

More than 1,000 people attended Aguilar’s funeral on Dec. 8 at Lumberton High School. Some of her friends spoke from the podium, describing the last time they saw her.

“We were going to the bus stop and she was like, ‘bye take care, I love you,'” Joanna Delaluz, 14, said, reported WTVD. “I gave her a hug.”

“I found out she got kidnapped and I never saw her again,” added Madison Bullock, 15, breaking down in tears. “She loved to talk with her friends and play on her phone, laugh, smile. We miss her smile.”

Aguilar was set to be laid to rest in Meadowbrook Cemetery.

According to her obituary, Aguilar was in the eighth grade at Lumberton Junior High School and leaves behind her mother, father, and two sisters.

Epoch Times Photo
Hania Noelia Aguilar was abducted from her front yard on Nov. 5, 2018, in Lumberton, N.C., prompting an amber alert. Her body was found on Nov. 27 in Robeson County, N.C. (Lumberton Police Department)

Violent Past

McLellan has a violent past that includes convictions in addition to the multiple felonies he’s facing for the Aguilar murder and the armed robbery.

McLellan was convicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and first-degree burglary in 2007, reported The Robesonian. He was released from prison in February 2016.

Just one year later, he was convicted on charges of felony breaking and entering and larceny of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to another term in jail but was released on parole in June.

In October McLellan was arrested again for the robbery.

Fairmont Police Chief Jon Edwards told the outlet that McLellan, wearing a mask, approached a woman as she pulled into her driveway, pointed a gun at her, and demanded money. After the woman recognized his voice and called him by name, he removed the mask and “talked to her in a way to attempt to play it off with her,” according to Edwards. McLellan ultimately took money from the woman.


Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber