Trigger warning: murder, child death
Aaron Trejo, 17, has pleaded guilty to killing Breana Rouhselang, also 17, who was six months pregnant at the time with their child. The Indiana teen made a plea deal in connection with charges of murder and feticide.
Trejo entered his plea on Wednesday morning inside a St. Joseph County courthouse. He and his lawyer surprised attendees since his appearance in court was scheduled as a status hearing. Under the agreement, the state won’t file any additional charges. Trejo also waived his right to appeal a conviction and sentence.
Trejo murdered Rouhselang and their baby in December 2018. The high school football player told police that the couple had had an argument over the cheerleader’s pregnancy. Trejo thought she had waited too long to tell him the news and was distressed that it was too late for her to get an abortion. “I took action … I took her life,” Trejo told South Bend Detective Gery Mullins, according to charging documents.
BREAKING: Aaron Trejo, 17, has pleaded guilty to murder and feticide in the death of 17-year-old Mishawaka High School student Breana Rouhselang and her unborn child. https://t.co/bbSxSs0XL4— WNDU (@WNDU) October 30, 2019
The teen, who was 16 at the time of the murder, has said that he had discussed the pregnancy several times with Rouhselang before the night of her murder. When he met her outside of her house on that night, they didn’t talk much. He stabbed her and she fell to the ground. He said he knew she was dead and believed the baby was also dead when he placed her body in a dumpster behind a restaurant.
When Rouhselang’s mother, who knew she had gone to meet Trejo saw that she hadn’t returned, she went to Trejo's house to ask where she was. He told her he was supposed to meet her in the alley behind their home but claimed that she had never turned up. Trejo faces up to 80 years in prison at his sentencing in January.
In response to Trejo’s plea, Wayne Barker, the District Superintendent for Mishawaka High School, where the teens were students, said, “We trust our local authorities to complete the legal process which includes sentencing in January. Our thoughts are with the Mishawaka families who continue to grieve this terrible loss.”
Rouhselang’s parents were in the courtroom today when Trejo entered his plea. Although there were no outbursts, the girl’s parents, as well as other friends and relatives, could be heard crying. Following the hearing, when family members were asked to share their thoughts about Trejo’s guilty plea with the media, they simply answered, “not at this time.”