A year later, legal wrangling continues in Hania Aguilar murder case

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wednesday marks one year since 13-year-old Hania Aguilar's body was found in Robeson County.

ABC11 News returned to Wire Grass Road where FBI agents found Hania at the bottom of a shallow pond. While the search is over, the quest for justice continues.

Purple was Hania Aguilar's favorite color. In the days after her kidnapping on Nov. 5, 2018, it grew to become Robeson County's symbol of compassion, strength and resilience.

But one year later; the sting of her death remains as the case against her alleged killer moves at a slow pace.

ABC11 spent the morning at the Robeson County Courthouse digging into the files for the latest developments.

Despite multiple court dates for Michael Ray McLellan, there are few recent developments in his case.

According to court documents in March, defense attorney Butch Pope filed a motion demanding Robeson County DSS give him all the records regarding McLellan and his parents' background, mental health, abuse, everything in his DSS file.

A judge granted that request in April, just one month before McLellan was indicted by a grand jury.

In June, District Attorney Matthew Scott announced the state's intention to seek the death penalty.

With a potentially grim fate if convicted, McLellan picked up another attorney for his defense team.

Then in August, his new attorney filed a bombshell motion demanding his client's right to a speedy trial.

Sources speculate that if this case drags out, it could very well be an appealable issue for McLellan's defense.

McLellan's next court date is set for Dec. 9.
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