Leader in Georgia Antigovernment Terror Plot Pleads, Gets Life in Prison
The suspected leader of a murderous militia of military men was the last to be interrogated that mild Georgia winter evening 18 months ago. Although he was only 20 at the time, United States Army Pvt. Isaac Aguigui played it cool and defiant. “You can go to hell,” he told an agent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). His tough-guy act didn’t last long. Within 20 minutes, Aguigui deserted his rigid military discipline and whimpered, “I’m just going to end up in a jail cell alone for the rest of my life.”
Today, his tearful prophecy came true.
The now 22-year-old soldier was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to the murder of Tiffany York, 17, and her boyfriend, Michael Roark, 19, a former soldier who served with Aguigui at the Fort Stewart Army base in Hinesville. Georgia state prosecutors say the young sweethearts were shot to death in the woods not far from the sprawling military facility to keep secret Aguigui’s video-game inspired militia and its delusional plans to overthrow the government of the United States through a torrent of bombings, kidnappings and political assassinations.
Aguigui’s guilty plea pushed his co-defendants — Pvt. Christopher Salmon and Sgt. Anthony Peden — closer to the executioner’s needle. In a matter-of-fact voice, Aguigui said the teenagers were lured to the woods and then shot to death. He said Peden killed York and then Salmon killed Roark, who Aguigui said “asked for mercy and forgiveness.”
By then, Aguigui said he told the terrified teenager, “It was too late.”
Peden and Salmon were both in the heavily guarded Long County courtroom today for a status hearing on their cases as Aguigui promised to testify against them to avoid the death penalty.