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Aguilar pleads to burglary charge

Posted: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Matthew James Aguilar

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — An Alamosa teenager who broke into an unoccupied trailer in March — and then set fire to it — pleaded guilty last week to second-degree burglary.

Matthew James Aguilar now faces a potential sentence of two to six years in state prison, although probation could also be an option, given his relative lack of a criminal history.

Police arrested Aguilar within a matter of hours after they responded to a March 18 report of a burglary in progress at the State Avenue Century Mobile Home Park.

When they arrived at the scene, they discovered that an unoccupied trailer was on fire. The police department, along with the Alamosa Fire Department and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, quickly determined that the blaze was an act of arson.

During their investigation into the incident, police officers interviewed a woman who identified herself as Aguilar’s relative.

The woman said she saw the 18-year-old teenager rolling an entertainment center away from the trailer; police also learned that a television set and a VCR were taken from the residence.

Officers reported that they found the items at a nearby resident’s trailer. The occupant allegedly told them that a man with a star tattoo on his neck sold him the items.

Based on the two witnesses’ descriptions of the suspect, police contacted Aguilar later that morning. A police corporal made note of a star tattoo on the young man’s neck.

Once he arrived at the police department for questioning, Aguilar waived his Miranda rights and opted to speak with the corporal.

At first, he reportedly gave them different accounts of what happened that morning. But authorities say Aguilar eventually admitted he started the blaze with a lighter, and that he took property from the trailer.

Police initially arrested him for first-degree arson, second-degree burglary and theft, and the district attorney’s office went on to charge him with two additional offenses.

In exchange for his plea, though, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining charges with prejudice. Twelfth Judicial District Judge Michael Gonzales also reduced Aguilar’s bond to $10,000 cash or surety.

Aguilar’s sentencing date is set for July 8.

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