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.”
Aguilera-Mederos’ legal team said a term of 20-30 years in prison is still too long.
“Although we are glad to have the district attorney acknowledge the unjust sentence that was handed to our client, this sentence is still not consistent with the precedent of prior similar cases throughout the state of Colorado and the entire country,” attorney Leonard Martinez said in a written statement. “We plan to move forward and to keep all options open in achieving justice for Rogel, including the possibility of clemency from Gov. Polis.”
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.
Aguilera-Mederos, who was convicted in October of vehicular homicide and 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.
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.
Nearly 5 million people have signed a petition asking for Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence to be commuted or reduced.