An Indiana teenager who pleaded guilty last year to murdering his pregnant 17-year-old girlfriend and their unborn child has been sentenced to 65 years for the violent crime.
Trejo learned his fate on Tuesday, with St Joseph County Superior Court
Judge Elizabeth Hurley sentencing him to 55 years for the murder of Breana Rouhselang and to 10 years for feticide in the death of their daughter, who was posthumously named ‘Aurora.’
In delivering her verdict, the judge remarked on the brutal death of the pregnant high school girl, who was stabbed in the chest, strangled and dumped in the trash. ‘You took her life in one of the most savage and violent manners I have seen in my career,’ Hurley told Trejo, according to reporting by South Bend Tribune.
Trejo pleaded guilty last October to killing Rouhselang in December 2018 because he was angry that the six-month pregnant cheerleader waited too long to get an abortion. When given a chance to speak, the convicted killer apologized to the victim’s family in court.
‘There is no excuse for what I’ve done,’ he said. ‘Saying I’m sorry wouldn’t be enough, but it’s all I can give. ’Before the sentence was announced, members of Rouhselang’s family delivered emotional impact statements and asked the judge to jail Trejo for life.
His relatives also addressed the court, with his brother, Adam, describing Aaron as 'the most loving, most caring' person he knows. Trejo's defense lawyer called on a forensic psychologist to testify, who said that the then-16-year-old high school student felt 'trapped' and was battling repressed hostility and anger. The body of Rouhselang, a member of the cheer squad and football team manager at Mishawaka High School, was discovered by authorities in a dumpster behind Pasquale Rulli Pizza, just a block away from where she lived with her biological mother.
Her mother last saw her alive when the teen said she was going to meet the father of her baby behind their house at 11pm. She never returned. Detective Gery Mullins detailed the conversation in charging documents in which Trejo confessed to the horrifying crimes, which occurred after the teenage pair had a fight.
'I then asked Aaron if the fight was about the pregnancy,' Mullins wrote. 'Aaron Trejo quietly said, "Yes." Aaron then explained that Breana waited too long to tell Aaron about the pregnancy to get an abortion. I asked Aaron what he did about that, and he replied, "I took action... I took her life."'Aaron explained that he stabbed Breana in the heart with a knife he brought from home. Aaron chose to use a knife because he thought it would kill Breana quickly.
Aaron stated that he put the black plastic bag over Breana, which he had brought from home for that purpose. 'Aaron Trejo said that he had been planning and thinking about killing Breana and the baby for about a week and had not told anybody. Aaron Trejo said that after he put Breana's body in the dumpster, he walked to the river and threw Breana's phone and his knife as far out into the river as he could.'
An autopsy confirmed that Rouhselang died from multiple stab wounds and that her scarf had been tied so tightly that strangulation was occurring before she died. Following Tuesday’s emotional sentencing hearing, Rouhselang's relatives cried and embraced outside court.
‘I’m glad we got justice for Bre,’ Melissa Wallace, her mother, told WNDU. ‘But no amount of time will ever replace what he took from me.’Rouhselang's maternal grandfather, Robert Wallace, told reporters his granddaughter was a 'good girl' who was bound for college and did not deserve any of this. Trejo will have to serve at least three quarters of his sentence before he is released from prison as a 66-year-old man.