DA to seek much shorter sentence for trucker given 110 years after deadly crash

 The district attorney’s office that prosecuted a trucker who was sentenced to 110 years in prison for an explosive crash that killed four people in suburban Denver will request a reduced term of 20 to 30 years.

Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King said in a statement Thursday evening she would ask the judge during a hearing Monday to resentence Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, for the April 25, 2019, crash on Interstate 70 west of Denver.

“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,” King said. “This sentencing range reflects an appropriate outcome for that conduct, which was not an accident.”

District Court Judge Bruce Jones imposed the sentence against Aguilera-Mederos on Dec. 13 after finding it was the mandatory minimum term set forth under state law.

“I will state that if I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,” the judge said during the hearing.

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos in undated photo

CBS Denver

Aguilera-Mederos, who was convicted in October of vehicular homicide and 23 other charges, testified that the brakes on his semitrailer failed before he plowed into vehicles that had slowed because of another wreck. Prosecutors argued he should have used a runaway ramp designed for such situations.

The crash also injured several people and damaged or destroyed 28 vehicles, CBS Denver reports.    

Aguilera-Mederos’ supporters say the 110-year sentence is deeply unjust, and truck drivers around the country have taken up his cause, using hashtags like #NoTrucksToColorado and #NoTrucksColorado.

Fiery scene of crash on I-70 in Lakewood, Colorado in April 2019 that killed four people and injured several others.

CBS Denver

By Wednesday, more than 4.6 million people had signed a petition asking Colorado Governor Jared Polis to grant clemency to Aguilera-Mederos, or commutation for time served. 

The petition went viral on social media, with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West also asking Polis to commute or shorten the sentence. 

His office said it had received a clemency request and was reviewing the sentence.  

Some family members of crash victims have weighed in. 

It killed 24-year-old Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 61-year-old Doyle Harrison, 69-year-old Stanley Politano and 67-year-old William Bailey.

Bailey’s wife, Gage Evans, said sentencing laws should be reviewed but the sentence shouldn’t be commuted. 

“”He was found guilty of reckless behavior that killed my husband that was the most important thing to me,” said Evans.

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