LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) – The man accused of kidnapping and murdering 13-year-old Hania Aguilar made his first court appearance in Lumberton Monday.
In the hearing, a judge denied bond for 34-year-old Michael Ray McLellan on charges related to Aguilar’s death. Back in October, the defendant was granted bond on kidnapping and attempted robbery charges. That bond was revoked during Monday’s hearing.
Afterwards, McLellan made another appearance in superior court for charges including first-degree rape stemming from a 2016 incident.
Britt said they were able to solve that case through the investigation into Aguilar’s disappearance.
He admits the nature of the kidnapping and murder of Aguilar is perhaps the first of its kind since he’s served as DA.
“We’ve certainly had an overwhelming number of murders, an overwhelming number of sexual assault and rapes, but there’s not many - and I stand to be corrected - there’s not many that combine all of the allegations made against Mr. McLellan,” Britt said.
Britt revealed McLellan became a suspect in the disappearance of Aguilar after they found evidence in the SUV she was abducted in that tied him to the crime.
He said he believes McLellan killed Aguilar the day she was abducted from her front yard on Nov. 5.
It was then a matter of getting more evidence to build a case before charging McLellan.
“There was a hole that needed to be filled and that hole was finding Hania," Britt said, "Hopefully we though she might be found alive, but as time went on, it became apparent that she was dead so it became necessary not only to find her, but through the autopsy conducted in the medical examiner’s office to collect evidence from her.”
“This is a horrific sets of facts. He galvanized the community, he galvanized law enforcement, he galvanized our office and we will do our talking in the courtroom,” assistant district attorney/DA-elect Matthew Scott said.
Authorities will hold McLellan at a facility in Raleigh. His next court date is scheduled for Dec 21.
According to jail records from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, McLellan has a history of violent crime, with convictions in Robeson County dating back to at least 2000.
McLellan was previously convicted in November 2000 and June 2004 of misdemeanor assault on a child. McLellan was sentenced to probation in both cases, jail records show.
McLellan served nine years in prison after being convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree burglary in January 2007. He was released on Feb. 9, 2016. Jail records show he was on parole until Nov. 5, 2016.
In February, McLellan was convicted of felony breaking and entering and larceny of a motor vehicle. He served about four months in prison before being released on June 6. According to jail records, McLellan is on parole until March 3, 2019 in relation to the case.
Most recently, McLellan was charged with second-degree kidnapping, possession of a firearm by felon and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon following an incident on Oct. 15. According to an arrest warrant, McLellan attempted to kidnap and rob a woman at gunpoint in Fairmont.