Judge approves new motions filed in Hania Aguilar murder case

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:21 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:53 AM EDT
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LUMBERTON, N.C. (WMBF) - The man accused of kidnapping and murdering 13-year-old Hania Aguilar appeared in court virtually Thursday morning for a hearing.

The hearing for Michael McLellan was regarding motions that the defendant’s attorneys had filed.

One motion was for discovery, specifically related to material that is in the possession of, or created by, the FBI as part of the investigation. The other motion was for the preservation of evidence in the case.

Judge Greg Bell agreed to both motions. The state did not offer any objections.

McLellan, who appeared in court virtually from Central Prison in Raleigh, did not speak during Thursday’s proceedings. He is charged with ten felonies, including first-degree murder, first-degree forcible rape, kidnapping, and concealment of death.

Authorities allege McLellan forced Aguilar into an SUV and kidnapped her outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton on Nov. 5, 2018.

Local and federal authorities followed 850 leads and conducted nearly 500 interviews during the investigation that followed.

Weeks after the kidnapping, Aguilar’s body was found.

The state has previously announced its intention to seek the death penalty for McLellan.

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