The 14-year-old White Oak boy charged with killing his 7-month-old sister is being held without bond until his next hearing.
Montgomery County District Court Judge Karla Smith ordered Jonathan Aguiluc, of the 11600 block of Lockwood Drive, to be transferred to the Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Detention Center in Rockville, until a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 22.
That hearing will determine whether or not the state will continue with a first-degree murder charge. Anything less than that would be tried in a juvenile court. If the state continues with a first degree charge, Aguiluc’s defense team will seek a transfer study to have that case tried in juvenile court, according to Mary Siegfried, who is representing Aguiluc.
Aguiluc appeared via closed circuit TV for his bond hearing today and communicated through a Spanish language interpreter.
Mary Siegfried, the public defender representing Aguiluc at his bond hearing, requested the case be remanded to juvenile court, adding that Aguiluc did not have any prior contacts with the department of juvenile services.
“He goes to school every day,” she told Judge Smith. Aguiluc is an eighth-grade student at Francis Scott Key Middle School in Silver Spring. Officials at the school declined to talk to The Gazette.
Court records, police and the Montgomery County school system use different spellings for Aguiluc’s name including: Auguluz, Augiluz, Aquiluz and Aguiluc for his last name; and Jonathan and Johnathan for his first name.
Aguiluc is being charged as an adult with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum life sentence.
Shortly after Aguiluc’s bond review, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy told reporters that Aguiluc had been charged as an adult due to Maryland state law.
“As noted by the prosecution and defense in open court, in Maryland under law, if someone commits the offense of first-degree murder, it is mandated that you be charged originally as an adult,” he said.
The cause of death was asphyxia, McCarthy said.
Assistant State’s Attorneys George Simms and Deborah Feinstein are representing the state in the case.
Members of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the teen’s apartment Friday morning and found 7-month-old Larissa Yanes unresponsive, according to a report from the Montgomery County Police Department.
The rescue team transported Larissa to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, where she died from her injuries at about 6:54 a.m., according to the police report. While preliminary investigation revealed that injuries found on the girl’s body at the time of death were not self-inflicted, Aguiluc admitted to beating Larissa with his hand, elbows and a belt in later interviews, according to the report.
The injuries covering Larissa’s body were later determined by the Maryland Medical Examiner to be bug bites, McCarthy said Monday. “Bugs attacked this girl after she died,” McCarthy said.
Police learned that Aguiluc’s mother, Gloria Yanes, had left him to watch Larissa and a 3-year-old sister on Thursday when she went to work at 10:30 p.m. Aguiluc admitted in an interview with the detectives to beating Larissa and then covering her mouth and nose area with his hands when she started crying, police said. The boy said he did this until Larissa stopped crying and then placed her in her car seat, which was in the apartment.
When Yanes returned home at 5:30 a.m. Friday, she thought Larissa was sleeping and did not attempt waking her until around 6 a.m. so she could feed her. That’s when Yanes discovered Larissa was unresponsive and called 911.
At Aguiluc’s residence in White Oak, neighbors expressed dismay at the tragedy.
“It’s very painful,” said Luis Padilla, 18, who lived nearby.
“I think he needs counseling, not incarceration,” said Michelle Foster, another neighbor, who had seen them recently at a birthday party.