A Colorado District Attorney has asked the court to reconsider a controversial lengthy prison sentence for a truck driver who caused a pileup crash that killed four people.
In a hearing scheduled to take place on Monday, December 27, at 11 a.m., First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King will ask for a more lenient sentence of twenty to thirty years for 26 year old truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos.
The push for a more lenient sentence comes after massive public backlash against the sentence. A Change.org petition asking for clemency for Aguilera-Mederos reached nearly 5 million signatures.
On Thursday, King issued a statement regarding her request to reconsider the 110 year sentence of Aguilera-Mederos:
“Based on the facts of this case and input from the victims and their families, my office will be asking the court to consider a sentencing range of 20-30 years when the Court is prepared to address resentencing. As the jury found, Mr. Aguilera-Mederos knowingly made multiple active choices that resulted in the death of four people, serious injuries to others, and mass destruction. This sentencing range reflects an appropriate outcome for that conduct, which was not an accident. Given that the victims in this case have more than one view of an appropriate outcome, and this trial court heard the evidence presented, we believe that this hearing is the best path to securing justice for everyone involved.
Our team has connected with defense counsel and will continue to do so as both parties prepare for this resentencing opportunity. We have also been working with the Governor’s Office to ensure that the victims and their loved ones are heard both in this process and the pending clemency application with the Governor. We are grateful for the coordination with the Governor’s office and thank the Department of Corrections for expediting the required evaluation report for resentencing.
As I have in the past, I continue to support the efforts of the Governor’s Sentencing Reform Task Force. Criminal justice reform, including sentencing reform, is a priority of my administration for safer and healthier communities for all. I have been in discussions with the co-chair of the task force and have encouraged him to continue their efforts to address felony sentencing reform in Colorado.”
Aguilera-Mederos’ attorney James Colgan says that the hearing will likely result in a new court date during which the reduced sentence could be considered.
Aguilera-Mederos was issued the 110 year sentence on December 13, 2021, after he was convicted on 27 charges, including four counts of vehicular homicide, in October 2021. He was found not guilty on 15 counts of criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree.
The charges were issued as a result of a fatal chain reaction crash that happened in slowed traffic on I-70 near Lakewood, Colorado, on April 25, 2019. Aguilera-Mederos was hauling a load of lumber when he reportedly hit speeds of 85 m.p.h. in an area where trucks are limited to 45 m.p.h and lost control of his brakes before crashing into slowed traffic. The pileup involved 24 passenger vehicles and four semi trucks.
Video captured before the crash showed that Aguilera-Mederos bypassed a runaway ramp prior to slamming into slowed traffic, killing four and injuring several others.
District Court Judge Bruce Jones told Aguilera-Mederos that he had no choice but to issue the 110 year prison term due to mandatory minimum sentencing standards in Colorado, but also said that “if I had the discretion it would not be my sentence.”
King said that her office attempted to enter into plea negotiations with the Aguilera-Mederos legal team, but that he refused to consider anything more than a traffic ticket.
In an emotional statement issued in court just moments before the 110 year sentence was handed down, Aguilera-Mederos said that he is not a killer and never intended to hurt anyone. He expressed remorse for the victims and said that he is experiencing a large amount of psychological distress as a result of the fatal crash.
“It’s hard to live with this trauma. I can’t sleep, I’m thinking all the time about the victims,” Aguilera-Mederos told the court. “… This was a terrible accident, I know. I take the responsibility. But I’m not a criminal.”