Francisco Daniel Aguilar, aged 18, received a 25-year-to-life prison term for the homicide of Jacqueline Nunez in January 2023. Judge Marvin Bagley imposed the most severe penalty due to Aguilar’s notably limited display of remorse throughout the legal proceedings.
Prior to pronouncing the verdict, Judge Bagley inquired of Aguilar the reason behind Nunez’s killing, emphasizing the family’s right to an explanation. Aguilar responded that his actions were spontaneous, irrational, and driven by anger. However, Judge Bagley probed Aguilar further due to the evidence of premeditation in the case. Despite this, Aguilar remained emotionally detached and reiterated that he had acted foolishly and in a fit of anger.
The homicide transpired on January 8, 2023. Aguilar, aged 17 at the time, and Nunez, who was just 16, engaged in a dispute on that fateful day. Subsequently, Aguilar appropriated his father’s firearm and ammunition, after which he transported Nunez to a secluded site approximately 200 miles south of Utah, as indicated by the evidence introduced during the trial.
McKall Taylor, a close associate of Nunez, became apprehensive and embarked on a quest to locate her friend. Taylor eventually discovered Nunez and Aguilar on Doc Springs Rd. When Nunez caught sight of her friend, she endeavored to approach Taylor’s vehicle. At that moment, Aguilar discharged a shot at Nunez’s leg, resulting in the fracturing of her femur.
Furthermore, Aguilar directed gunfire at Taylor’s vehicle, causing the windows to shatter. Taylor rapidly departed from the scene to ensure her safety. Subsequently, Aguilar approached Nunez, who was lying in the middle of the unpaved road, and proceeded to fire a fatal shot to her head.
Throughout the trial, Aguilar asserted that he had no intention of using the weapon and had only brought it along to intimidate Nunez. However, Judge Bagley deemed his assertion entirely devoid of logic.
As Aguilar was just 17 at the time of Nunez’s tragic demise, prosecutors were unable to pursue a capital offense or the death penalty. Nevertheless, Sheriff Marty Gleave of Piute County expressed his belief that justice was served in this emotionally charged case.
Nunez is cherished and warmly remembered by her family and the local community, with a multitude of individuals holding her in high regard.