After sixteen years on the lam — time spent in such disparate locations as Ecuador and Minnesota — a former Harlem dishwasher pleaded not guilty today to murdering his wife by running her over in reverse with his car.
Jose Aguilar, 48, was dressed entirely in black and looked shaken as he was arraigned on the July 10, 1996 slaying of Maria Gualloraca, 28.
“The defendant drove the car backwards and ran over his wife, and then proceeded to drag her as the defendant continued to drive away,” the prosecutor said. Aguilar would have kept on going, but hit a parked car, she said.
Gualloraca died a week later and Aguilar was indicted on depraved indifference murder, charging that he recklessly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk of death. The father of four skipped out on $10,000 bail before he could be arraigned on the murder indictment, which could finally be unsealed today.
Aguilar had been living in Minnesota, where he was arrested Oct. 3 for allegedly forcibly touching a female neighbor. Cops there ran his prints, and realized they had a fugitive on their hands. He was extradited this week.
“The defendant had been drinking,” defense lawyer Leonard Levinson told the judge in asking for low bail. “He did not deliberately run over anyone. The most we could make out of this is maybe a criminally negligent homicide, due to the fact that he had been drinking.”
Aguilar was ordered held without bail; he is back in court next month.