Clovis man to get 12 years in fatal stabbing after no contest plea

The Fresno BeeJune 24, 2013 

Casildo Varbarin Aguilar

SPECIAL TO THE BEE

A Clovis man will serve 12 years behind bars for fatally stabbing another man he believed raped his girlfriend.

Casildo Varbarin Aguilar, 23, pleaded no contest Monday in Fresno County Superior Court to one count of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Ahjah Thirakoune.

Aguilar believed Thirakoune and two or three other men had drugged and raped his girlfriend. Aguilar's lawyer, Michael McKneely, said Aguilar had left his girlfriend at a club with the men, who were his friends.

About 30 minutes after Aguilar walked away, the men were witnessed leaving the bar with his girlfriend, who stumbled into a bouncer as they left, McKneely said.

She told him she didn't remember the evening except when one of the men pulled to the side of the road and raped her before dropping her off at her home, McKneely said.

His girlfriend called him early the next morning to tell Aguilar the men had sexually assaulted her, and he sought revenge. He stabbed Thirakoune after he came to Aguilar's house and bragged about it, McKneely said.

"This was a kid who was provoked because of the rape of his girlfriend, McKneely said. "This was a heat-of-passion killing."

Under the terms of the plea deal, Aguilar will serve 11 years for voluntary manslaughter and one additional year for using a knife.

"My client has no record," McKneely said. "He is not a violent or dangerous man, but there is always a risk a jury could get it wrong and he could get a life sentence."

Aguilar has been in Fresno County Jail since shortly after the stabbing last February and must serve at least 85% of his remaining term -- about 101/2 years -- after he is sentenced in August.

The case against another man allegedly involved in the rape was dismissed by the Fresno County District Attorney's Office last week, said Michael Aed, the man's lawyer. A third man implicated in the case was not charged.

Kelly Keenan, chief assistant district attorney, said Monday that the rape case could be refiled.

"At the time, the victim couldn't go forward with the case," he said.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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