Colorado DA asks court to reconsider 110-year sentence for truck driver in fatal I-70 crash
Dec 23, 2021, 8:55 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:22 pm
(CNN) — A Colorado district attorney is asking the court to reconsider the 110-year prison sentence given to truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who was convicted in the 2019 crash on Interstate 70 that killed four people.
A status hearing in the case has been set for Monday morning, according to online court records.
First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King filed a motion on Friday asking the court to reconsider Aguilera’s sentence and a second motion on Tuesday to expedite the process, so it could be heard by the judge who presided over the case.
Aguilera-Mederos, 26, was found guilty in October of four counts of vehicular homicide and 23 other charges, including six counts of assault in the first degree — extreme indifference; 10 counts of attempt to commit assault in the first degree — extreme indifference; two counts of vehicular assault — reckless; one count of reckless driving; and four counts of careless driving causing death.
At the sentencing earlier this month, Colorado District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones said he was bound to the mandatory-minimum sentencing laws in the state, CNN affiliate KMGH reported.
“On December 13, we requested the minimum sentence allowed by law and discussed with the court the statutory procedure permitting the court to reconsider its sentence in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances,” King said Wednesday in a statement.
King said in the statement that reconsidering the sentence would not overturn Aguilera-Mederos’ conviction, which King said was supported by the evidence in the case.
“It simply allows the court greater flexibility than at initial sentencing,” she said in the statement.
Leonard Martinez, one of Aguilera-Mederos’ attorneys, told KMGH that the 110-year sentence is too long.
“I’m excited that, at least for now, that there’s options open for my client, and we’re going to look at every option available to help this kid get his sentence reduced,” Martinez said to KMGH.
Aguilera-Mederos was driving 85 mph in a semi tractor-trailer in April 2019 when his brakes failed, he told investigators at the time. He crashed, causing a fiery 28-car pileup that killed four people and injured others, the Lakewood Police Department said at the time.
The sentence drew immediate criticism, and an online petition urging Gov. Jared Polis to reduce Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence or grant clemency has gotten more than 4.7 million signatures.
Kim Kardashian West, who’s been active in criminal justice issues, posted a series of tweets about the case on Tuesday and ended by saying that Polis “is a really good person and I know he will do the right thing.”
Polis’ office told CNN that it is reviewing Aguilera-Medros’ clemency request.
“We just received Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ application, and our legal team is currently reviewing it. Once we reach a decision, we will make an announcement,” press secretary Conor Cahill said to CNN in an email.
King said in the statement that she and her team had spoken to the surviving victims of the crash and the families of those who died about the possibility of Aguilera-Medros being resentenced.
“It was their specific desire to be heard in this process,” she said in the statement. “Our primary concern is ensuring that they are able to share with the court how this incident has impacted their lives as the court considers the appropriate sentence and follows the process set forth in the law.”
She said they would continue to have conversations with the victims and their loved ones as the case moves forward.
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