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Hearing Scheduled To Determine If Truck Driver's 110-Year Prison Sentence Should Stand
Millions have signed a petition asking for a more lenient sentence for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who caused a fatal crash after his brakes failed.
A Colorado district attorney has scheduled a hearing which could determine whether or not a truck driver’s now-notorious 110-year prison sentence will stand.
First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King has filed a motion Friday for a hearing to reconsider the sentence for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, NBC News reports.
“The law also permits the Court to reconsider its sentence in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances,” the motion reads.
Colorado District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones sentenced Aguilera-Mederos to 110 years in prison for being behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler that caused a deadly crash in 2019.
During the trucker's sentencing, the judge argued that while he found the sentence harsh, he said he was bound by the state law.
“If I had the discretion, if I thought I had the discretion, I would not run those sentences consecutively,” Jones said, adding however that he did feel that Aguilera-Mederos deserved some prison time for “terrible” and “reckless decisions,” NBC News reports.
A jury had found the Cuban immigrant guilty of 27 out of 41 charges for causing the crash on Interstate 70 in Lakewood after his brakes failed. He was also found guilty of four counts of vehicular homicide — one for each person who perished in the fiery pile-up crash: Doyle Harrison, 61; William Bailey, 67; Stanley Politano, 69; and Miguel Lamas Arrellano, 24.
During the trial, the prosecution accused Aguilera-Mederos of being irresponsible and of failing to use a runaway truck ramp nearby — a ramp that the truck driver maintains he didn’t see. Meanwhile, the defense portrayed their client as a victim of the mechanical issues that ultimately created the brake failure.
Since the shocking sentencing, people have rallied in support of him and millions have signed an online petition to have his sentence reduced or commuted. While many agree that Aguilera-Mederos should face some punishment for the crash, most argue that a century-long sentence is not appropriate.
In a Friday statement, the ACLU of Colorado called the sentence “outrageously long” as they called for a correction to its “injustice.”
This week, Denver-area outlet Westword reported that a district attorney gifted a prosecutor who worked on the case with an award in the shape of a trucking brake pad. King has since apologized on behalf of the office.
“It is not a piece of evidence from the case,” King stated. “The post was in very poor taste and does not reflect the values of my administration. We have addressed it internally.”