Kidnapping, Murder Charges in Strangulation Case
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 25, 2018
Local law enforcement arrested a truck driver in Powell on April 13th on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder.
Hot Springs County authorities have filed felony charges against 45-year-old Arizona resident Hugo Luna Aguero for allegedly strangling a woman he’d picked up in Glendale, Arizona, and leaving her in a ditch along highway 120 just north of Thermopolis.
The Powell Tribune reports that the injured woman was found by a passing motorist the morning of Friday, April 13th about 15 miles north of Thermopolis, with injuries indicating strangulation. The victim told Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Brady Patrick that she’d known the suspect for about a month and had agreed to travel with him in exchange for a few hundred dollars.
However, according to court records, the woman said Luna began cutting her off from the rest of the world, and she said she observed blood on the mattress in the sleeper cab of his semi truck. On the morning of April 13th, after stopping in a pullout to go to the bathroom, Luna strangled her and left her on the side of the road.
The incident sparked a search by law enforcement around the state, which ended when Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Pence, of Cody, spotted Luna unloading cargo from his rig at a South Clark Street business in Powell just after 10 a.m. on the 13th.
The Tribune reports that Luna remained in jail in Thermopolis as of this Monday, with bail set at $500,000 cash. A conviction for attempted first-degree murder carries a minimum penalty of life in prison, while kidnapping has a minimum penalty of 20 years in prison.