A Stafford man who a prosecutor said nearly killed his wife during a 2018 domestic assault was ordered Thursday to serve seven years in prison.
Elijah Blu Aguilar, 38, was sentenced in Stafford Circuit Court to a total of 21 years in prison with all but seven years suspended. He was previously convicted of malicious wounding, strangulation and assault and battery.
Judge Charles Sharp’s sentence slightly exceeded the recommended state sentencing guidelines, which called for a maximum penalty of six years and nine months. Prosecutor Jennifer Lindsey argued that the sentence should have been even higher.
“We’re very fortunate not to be here on a homicide,” Lindsey said.
According to the evidence, Aguilar attacked his wife early Oct. 17, 2018, at their former home in Olde Forge subdivision in southern Stafford. Lindsey said he went into a rage after falsely accusing the woman of cheating and lying. Lindsey said Aguilar had a history of abusing the woman.
After twice strangling the woman into unconsciousness, Lindsey said, Aguilar threw her down the stairs into the basement. He then strangled her unconscious for the third time.
When the woman regained consciousness again, she pretended to be dead. Aguilar dragged her to another room before going upstairs to check on their four children, who had witnessed parts of the attack.
The woman then ran out a basement door, got over a fence and “ran for her life,” Lindsey said. She knocked on several doors but got no answer.
A neighbor who thought a burglar was in her backyard call the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies found the woman crying hysterically with multiple bruises and bloody scratches. She had three fractures in her neck.
Aguilar denied attacking the woman. He told police that the woman was high on drugs and that he was trying to get her away from the children when they slipped and fell down the stairs. Aguilar did not try to explain the strangulation marks on the woman’s neck.
Judge Sharp said he didn’t believe Aguilar’s story and said the woman was clearly the credible one.
Attorney John Spencer represented Aguilar, who has been in jail since the day of the incident.