Indiana teen pleads guilty to murdering pregnant cheerleader
An Indiana teenager pleaded guilty to killing a high school cheerleader who was pregnant with their child.
In a deal entered Wednesday, Aaron Trejo pleaded guilty to one count of murder and one count of feticide, both felonies. Last December he confessed to fatally stabbing his classmate, who was six months pregnant, in the heart and then concealing her body in a dumpster with a black plastic bag, according to court documents.
“I took action. … I took her life” because it was too late for her to have an abortion, Trejo, 17, had said. According to court documents, Trejo said that neither he nor his victim, Breana Rouhselang, 17, wanted to have the child.
CNN was unable to reach Trejo’s family. His attorney James Korpal declined to comment.
Trejo murdered Rouhselang using a knife because he thought it would kill her quickly, court documents show. After taking Rouhselang’s life, Trejo threw the knife and her cell phone into a river. An autopsy confirms that her scarf was tied so tightly that strangulation occurred before she died from multiple stab wounds. Documents did not specify who tied the scarf.
Rouhselang’s stepmother Nicole declined to comment.
Trejo and Rouhselang both attended School City of Mishawaka. Superintendent Wayne Barker released a statement Wednesday:
“We trust our local authorities to complete the legal process which includes sentencing in January. Our thoughts are with the Mishawaka families who continue to grieve this terrible loss.”
The plea agreement establishes that any other criminal charges arising from the incident will be barred by double jeopardy.
Trejo, who was charged as an adult, faces 45-65 years in prison for murder and 3-16 years for feticide.
This is still an open investigation until judge Elizabeth Hurley accepts the plea bargain, which would occur at the sentencing hearing, Saint Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit Assistant Commander Lt. Alex Arendt told CNN.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 7, 2020.