Mandatory law leads to 110-year sentence for fatal crash; DA moves for reconsideration
Workers clear debris on April 26, 2019, in Lakewood, Colorado, following a deadly pileup. Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was convicted in October of vehicular homicide and other charges stemming from the crash. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
A Colorado district attorney is seeking reconsideration of a 110-year sentence for a truck driver convicted for a 2019 crash that killed four people after his brakes failed.
The driver, 26-year-old Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, was sentenced under a Colorado law that requires sentences for crimes of violence to run consecutively, rather than concurrently, when they arise from the same incident, the Denver Post reports.
District Attorney Alexis King acknowledged in a Dec. 17 motion that the sentence was mandatory, but also said the court is allowed to reconsider a sentence in cases involving unusual and extenuating circumstances after receiving a report from the Department of Corrections. She sought a hearing that would begin the process. CNN, the Denver Post (in a separate story) and the New York Times have coverage; a press release is here.
King “did not announce the move until Tuesday, as an online petition calling for a sentence reduction swelled to more than 4.5 million signatures and Gov. Jared Polis said he would expedite consideration of a petition for clemency,” the Denver Post reported.
Aguilera-Mederos was convicted in October of 27 charges in the incident, including four counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault and 10 counts of attempted first-degree assault. The latter two crimes are considered crimes of violence under the sentencing statute.
According to prosecutors, Aguilera-Mederos had pulled over after noticing a problem with his brakes and then continued to drive. They also said he had been seen driving recklessly in the hours before the crash and he did not use a runaway truck ramp to stop his vehicle. King previously said that Aguilera-Mederos had refused to plead guilty to anything other than a traffic ticket.
The judge who sentenced Aguilera-Mederos, Bruce Jones, said if he had discretion he would not have imposed a 110-year sentence.