Correction: Soldiers Charged-Plot story

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FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) - In a story March 24 about the court-martial of a Georgia Army soldier charged with killing his pregnant wife, The Associated Press reported erroneously that a separate, double slaying took place eight months after Pvt. Isaac Aguigui’s wife died. The two incidents took place nearly five months apart.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Friend: Soldier confessed to killing pregnant wife

Friend testifies fellow soldier confessed to killing pregnant wife using bag over her head

By RUSS BYNUM

Associated Press

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) - An Army soldier confessed that he killed his pregnant wife by persuading her to wear handcuffs during sex and then suffocating her with a plastic bag, a former Army buddy testified before a court-martial Monday.

Prosecutors at Fort Stewart used testimony alleging the confession to open their case against 22-year-old Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, who is charged with murder as well as killing an unborn child. He faces an automatic life sentence if a military judge convicts him in the July 17, 2011, death of Sgt. Deirdre Aguigui.

Capt. Janae Lapir, an Army prosecutor, said in her opening statement Monday that Isaac Aguigui wanted to be free from a rocky marriage and coveted the $500,000 in life insurance and benefit payments he received from the Army after his wife was found dead in their apartment on the southeast Georgia Army post. She called him “a schemer” who tricked his wife into letting him handcuff her.

Sgt. Aguigui never had a chance to fight back because she never saw it coming,” Lapir said.

Civilian prosecutors say Aguigui used the insurance money to buy guns and bomb components for an anti-government militia group he started by recruiting other disgruntled soldiers. Aguigui pleaded guilty in a civilian court last summer to murder charges in the slayings of a former soldier and his girlfriend nearly five months after his wife died. Civilian prosecutors say he ordered their slayings to protect the group.

Aguigui is already serving a sentence of life without parole at a Georgia prison.

Testimony in pretrial hearings showed the Army was delayed in bringing charges because the military’s autopsy failed to identify a cause of death for Deirdre Aguigui. Last year, a Georgia state medical examiner reviewed the case and gave a second opinion, saying she must have been choked or suffocated because every other potential cause could be ruled out. He noted marks on her wrists indicated she struggled violently as her hands were cuffed behind her back.

The defendant’s mother, Annette Aguigui, said she spoke by phone with her daughter-in-law the night before she died. The pregnant soldier said she was upset that her husband and his friend Michael Schaefer were making plans to start a security business in another state.

“I did tell her, ‘You know Deirdre, it’s no longer just you. You have a baby and you have to make decisions for yourself and the baby,’” said Annette Aguigui, who barely looked toward her son and seemed on the verge of tears. “She was crying by the end of the conversation.”

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