In a shocking case that has rocked Utah, 18-year-old Francisco Daniel Aguilar was handed a life sentence on Monday for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Jacqueline “Jacky” Nunez. The presiding judge, Marvin Bagley, was visibly taken aback by Aguilar’s apparent lack of remorse for his actions.
Aguilar, who was 17 at the time of the crime, shot Nunez in the head after injuring her on a deserted road. He told the court that his actions were impulsive and driven by anger, adding that he regretted his actions every day. He maintained that his intention was to scare Nunez with the gun, not to harm her.
Judge Bagley, however, disputed Aguilar’s claim of impulsivity, noting that Aguilar had shown premeditation by retrieving his father’s 9mm gun and bullets before driving Nunez to a remote location about 200 miles south of Salt Lake City.
When asked for a more satisfactory explanation, Aguilar merely reiterated that he had acted out of stupidity and anger. The judge, unimpressed with the response, gave Aguilar the maximum sentence after hearing heart-wrenching victim impact statements from Nunez’s family.
Rosa Nunez, the victim’s sister, described her sister’s murder as a “life sentence of suffering” for their family and condemned Aguilar’s actions as “unforgivable and pure evil.”
The Piute County Sheriff’s Office reported that the young couple had been arguing on the evening of the incident when Aguilar drove them to a remote location. A friend of Nunez’s, McKall Taylor, had followed the couple to the location. When Nunez attempted to escape, Aguilar shot her in the leg, shattering her femur. He then fired at Taylor’s truck, forcing her to escape. Aguilar then shot Nunez in the head.
Aguilar, who was charged as an adult, pleaded guilty to all five counts against him, including first-degree aggravated murder. Nunez, a well-loved student and athlete, is remembered for her passion for volleyball and basketball.