Colorado prosecutor asks court to review lengthy 110-year prison term after truckers protest verdict

"The trucking company has had several inspections since 2017, with several mechanical violations," the petition states.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A Colorado District Attorney is requesting the court to reconsider the lengthy sentence recently delivered to a truck driver convicted of killing four and injuring numerous others after a brake failure, following outcry from the trucking community and a petitioned signed by millions.

"First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King filed a motion Tuesday for a court to set a hearing to review the sentence of Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos," Fox News reported.

"As Colorado law required the imposition of the sentence in this case, the law also permits the Court to reconsider its sentence in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances," the motion states. "This would allow for the conditions to be met for a modification of the defendant's sentence as was discussed by the People in the initial sentencing hearing," it continues.

"The purpose for the People's expedited request is so that the named victims in the case, as well as their families, have an opportunity to be heard by the trial court who is fully aware of the facts of the case," the motion adds. "We have spoken to the living victims and the families of the deceased victims, and it is their specific desire to be heard on this modification, in this forum, as quickly as possible," it states.

The motion comes just days after 26-year-old Cuban immigrant Aguilera-Mederos was handed a 110-year prison sentence for an April 2019 crash, in which investigators say he lost control of his semi-truck on Interstate 70 near Denver after the truck's brakes failed. Aguilera-Mederos was traveling at around 85 mph before slamming into dozens of stopped cars, resulting in a fiery explosion.

Prosecutors for the case argued that Aguilera-Mederos could have used several ramps to slow his truck, avoiding the accident.

"An arrest affidavit said that Aguilera-Mederos tried pulling over to the shoulder off the road, but another semi was already stopped there," according to Fox News.

Four people were killed in the accident: 61-year-old Doyle Harrison of Hudson, 24-year-old Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano of Denver, 67-year-old William Bailey, and 69-year-old Stan Politano, both of Arvada.

The crash resulted in the damaging or destroying of 28 other vehicles. Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of vehicular homicide in addition to 23 other charges.

Appearing in court, Aguilera-Mederos tearfully said:

"I am not a criminal. I am not a murderer. I am not a killer. When I look at my charges, we are talking about a murderer, which is not me. I have never thought about hurting anybody in my entire life."

Aguilera-Mederos's sentance has been criticized as being too harsh, resulting in a petition that has garnered over 4 million signatures supporting either the commutation of his sentence, or the granting of clemency.

According to Fox News, "Even Colorado District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones seemed not to agree with it but said he was bound by state laws on mandatory-minimum sentencing that required him to impose the punishment to run consecutively as opposed to concurrently."

The petition places blame on the trucking company's stating that the accident was just that, an accident, not intentional. It also stated that Aguilera-Mederos has no criminal history, passing all drug and alcohol tests.

"The trucking company has had several inspections since 2017, with several mechanical violations," the petition states. "Rogel is not a criminal, the company he was working for knew the federal laws that go into truck driving but they failed to follow those laws."

"This seems like a poor execution of 'justice.' Also, as a fellow truck driver, I understand that issues WILL arise that are beyond our control," wrote one signer, Philip Shaw. "He didn't mean to kill those people. I am a truckers wife and I know those runaway ramps can kill too," wrote another, Lindsey Ward.

The case has also caught the attention of celebrities, with Kim Kardashian West urging for Gov. Jared Polis to commute Aguilera-Mederos' sentence.

Aguilera-Mederos’ legal team has submitted a clemency application to Polis' office.

"We just received Rogel Aguilera-Mederos' application and our legal team is currently reviewing it," Conor Cahill, a spokesperson for Polis, told Fox News in a statement. "Once we reach a decision, we will make an announcement."

The prosecutor for the case, Kayla Wildeman, was seen on Facebook celebrating the condition with a trophy in the shape of a brake shoe given to her by trial partner Trevor Moritzky.

"Get yourself a trial partner as great as Trevor Moritzky," the Facebook post reads. "He turned a brake shoe from a semi truck into a memento. What a special gift from a truly special person. I never asked for a new bff at work, let alone one that is old enough to be my father (no offense) but I sure am grateful this trial brought you into my career as both a colleague and a friend! Words will never convey how lucky I am to have gotten the opportunity to learn from you!"


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