UPDATED: Raul Hernandez Perez: soldier, husband… and killer?

posted: 11 June 2021 | categories: Killer Men

note: this is an ongoing case. it will updated as the case progresses. updates at the end.

image: Stars & Stripes

This case is a tragic one, and one that hits close to home. Literally. This happened recently on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. It’s the home to the US Army’s 25th Infantry Division. It’s also where I live. The murder rocked the community here, taking place only a few blocks from where I live. Like myself, the soldier, Raul Hernandez Perez, and his now-deceased wife, Selena Roth, were both intelligence analysts in the same military intelligence brigade that I was once a member of over twenty years ago.


jump to a section

the crime | the backstory | investigation | article 32 hearing | updates


the crime

On January 13, 2021, Selena Roth, an Army veteran and Army spouse, was found dead in on-post housing. MPs (military police) were responding to a welfare check that had been requested by a family member. They discovered the door to the housing unit ajar but empty. They discovered the bedroom’s walls covered in blood, the mattress, too. The mattress had been stripped bare of linens. They discovered Selena’s body inside an outdoor, wheeled garbage can, with the linens and some towels on top of her.[1]Olson, Wyatt. “Army Prosecutors Allege Hawaii-Based Soldier Bludgeoned Wife in Premeditated Killing.” Stars & Stripes, 20 May 2021, Stars & Stripes, … Continue reading

That same evening, her husband, Raul Hernandez Perez, was detained and questioned in connection with the murder of his wife. On February 4, 2021, Hernandez Perez was charged with her murder, as well as disobeying a lawful order.[2]Cole, William. “Army Soldier Charged with Murder in Death of Wife at Schofield Barracks.” Star Advertiser, 4 Feb. 2021, Star Advertiser, … Continue reading


the backstory

Selena Roth had been a soldier herself, medically discharged the previous March due to a knee injury. Prior to her marriage to Hernandez Perez, she’d been married to a Marine stationed at the nearby Kaneohe base, with whom she shared a daughter. The marriage with her first husband was extremely rocky. According to the ex-husband, who had sought a protection order against her, Roth suffered from anxiety that often manifested itself in extreme ways.[3]Cole, William. “Army Soldier Charged with Murder in Death of Wife at Schofield Barracks.” Star Advertiser, 4 Feb. 2021, Star Advertiser, … Continue reading The marriage was described as “open,” during which Selena and Hernandez Perez became involved.[4]Olson, Wyatt. “Army Prosecutors Allege Hawaii-Based Soldier Bludgeoned Wife in Premeditated Killing.” Stars & Stripes, 20 May 2021, Stars & Stripes, … Continue reading

The marriage to Hernandez Perez was also rocky. Not long into the marriage, Hernandez Perez apparently rekindled a relationship with a high school girlfriend, something that Roth was extremely upset about. However, she reportedly was still very much in love with him. But her husband filed for divorce the previous October, and then he also sought a protection order against her in November, due to violent behavior.[5]Cole, William. “Army Soldier Charged with Murder in Death of Wife at Schofield Barracks.” Star Advertiser, 4 Feb. 2021, Star Advertiser, … Continue reading At this time, he moved out of the housing and into the barracks. However, despite the separation and protection order, he continued to visit Selena for consensual sex. He was ordered to cease these visits, but he disobeyed, continuing them.[6]Olson, Wyatt. “Army Prosecutors Allege Hawaii-Based Soldier Bludgeoned Wife in Premeditated Killing.” Stars & Stripes, 20 May 2021, Stars & Stripes, … Continue reading Hence the charge of disobeying a lawful order.

And just four days before she was found dead, the couple spent their first anniversary together.[7]Olson, Wyatt. “Army Prosecutors Allege Hawaii-Based Soldier Bludgeoned Wife in Premeditated Killing.” Stars & Stripes, 20 May 2021, Stars & Stripes, … Continue reading

It was to be their last time together.


investigation

While Selena Roth was found dead on January 13th, during the investigation, it was found that she was murdered on that same night, January 9th, their first anniversary.

They’d spent the day together, signals from Hernandez Perez’s phone showing that they returned before midnight that night. CCTV from Walmart, Subway, and a mall show the couple holding hands and hugging. Posts on Selena’s social media confirmed that they’d been together, happily. But investigators found that Hernandez Perez had Googled prior to leaving the house to go back to the barracks. And he’d searched an extremely incriminating question.

How many blows from a wooden bat would be needed to kill someone?

This led to Army prosecutors stating that the bludgeoning/stabbing of Selena Roth was premeditated.

Later that same day, the day of her death, CCTV shows Hernandez Perez throwing a white garbage bag, holding what appears to be a long object, into a dumpster. Cell phone records also show that Hernandez Perez visited the home two times after leaving there the morning of January 10. After his wife was already dead. The day before she was discovered, he was also at the house when he searched Google in order to ascertain the garbage pickup days for that neighborhood.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner performed the autopsy, determining that Roth had died from blunt-force trauma to her head, as well as four stab wounds from behind. They determined that she was hit so hard that her skull shattered. Oddly, her hands and arms show no defensive wounds. Roth was a hobby woodworker, and it is believed that Hernandez Perez used a piece of her lumber to beat her. Although it was never found, they believe it to be the object in the white garbage bag.[8]Olson, Wyatt. “Army Prosecutors Allege Hawaii-Based Soldier Bludgeoned Wife in Premeditated Killing.” Stars & Stripes, 20 May 2021, Stars & Stripes, … Continue reading


Article 32 hearing

Because Raul Hernandez Perez is being tried within the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, the military legal system), an Article 32 hearing is required before a defendent can be sent to a general court-martial. Think of it as the military version of a civilian grand jury hearing. A general court-martial is the highest level of court-martial.

The Article 32 hearing began the third week of May. Interestingly, his defense team opted not to present evidence during the hearing. However, Army prosecutors presented a slew of evidence based on the above, to include: photos, social media posts, CCTV, GPS tracking, text messages, internet searches.[9]Olson, Wyatt. “Army Prosecutors Allege Hawaii-Based Soldier Bludgeoned Wife in Premeditated Killing.” Stars & Stripes, 20 May 2021, Stars & Stripes, … Continue reading

Now that the hearing is concluded, a report will be sent to the appropriate authorities. It will be determined whether or not the case will go to court-martial, although in all likelihood, it will. As of now, a court-martial date has not been set.

A conviction carries the possibility of a life sentence without the possibility of parole.


Updates

21 June 2021

Raul Hernandez Perez pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree premeditated murder for the death of his wife, Selena Roth, in military court. He also pleaded not guilty to the military carge of disobeying a direct order. A trial date of 8 November 2021 was set.

More information was also released about the circumstances surrounding the case. As mentioned above in “the backstory,” Hernandaez Perez had a temporary restraining order against his wife. He’d also been ordered by his command to cease physical contact with her. However, it is now known that not only did he willfully violate these orders repeatedly, he also used those visits intentionally as a means to get her in trouble. Each time, he would visit her, have consensual sex, then leave and call the cops to tell them she’d violated the restraining order. It was also determined that just a few weeks prior to her murder, Hernandez Perez also took out an insurance policy on Roth, making himself the beneficiary of $100,000.

The relationship with his high school girlfriend mentioned in “the backstory” appears to be the motive for the murder. It is now known that the two were already planning a life together, taking steps toward engagement. It was also discovered that Hernandez Perez had already begun checking flights to South America, suggesting his intent to run.

Also newly released information, investigators found the backyard disturbed, a section roughly dug into a gravelike shape.[10]Cole, William. “Schofield Soldier Pleads Not Guilty in Beating and Stabbing Death of Wife.” Star Advertiser, 17 June 2021, Star Advertiser, … Continue reading

works cited[+]

0 Comments | tags: ,


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.