Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence drew immediate criticism, and an online petition urging Gov. Jared Polis to reduce the sentence or grant him clemency has gotten more than 4.7 million signatures.
Prosecutors have asked a Colorado court to consider modifying the mandatory 110-year prison sentence imposed last week against truck driver Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, who was behind the wheel of a fiery 2019 crash that killed four people.
In a motion filed Friday, First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King asked that the court “reconsider its sentence” against the 26-year-old Cuban immigrant.
On Tuesday, a second motion was filed, requesting an expedited hearing on the matter.
A hearing could be set for this Friday or next Monday.
More than two months ago, a Colorado jury found Aguilera-Mederos guilty on 27 criminal counts — including vehicular manslaughter — for his involvement in a 2019 crash on I-70 in Lakewood that left four people dead and several others injured.
The crash killed Doyle Harrison, 61; William Bailey, 67; Stanley Politano, 69; and 24-year-old Miguel Lamas Arrellano.
At the time of the crash, the brakes failed on Aguilera-Mederos’ 18-wheeler, which was carrying lumber, KMGH reports. Despite the highway having truck ramps, Aguilera-Mederos, then 23, didn’t take a runaway and instead crashed into stopped traffic.
During Aguilera-Mederos’ sentencing on Dec. 13, Judge A. Bruce Jones said, “I accept and respect what the defendant has said about his lack of intent to hurt people, but he made a series of terrible decisions, reckless decisions.”
After the sentencing, an online petition seeking a commutation of Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence circulated, garnering more than 4.5 million signatures.
Protesters have also taken to the steps of the state capitol twice this week to condemn the harsh sentence.
The prison sentence has made national headlines, and celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, are calling for clemency in this case.
KUSA reports that on Monday, Gov. Jared Polis confirmed his office received an application for clemency from Aguilera-Mederos’ attorney, and that his legal team is reviewing the request.
“When we have a decision, we’ll announce it,” Polis told the station.
During his sentencing, Aguilera-Mederos broke down in front of Jones as he asked for leniency.
“I know it has been hard and heartbreaking for everyone involved,” he said. “I can’t sleep. I think all the time about the victims. A part of me will be missing forever, as well.”
Aguilera-Mederos added: “I have never thought about hurting anyone in my entire life. I hope to say sorry, sorry for the loss, sorry for the people in here, I know they hurt. I know they have trauma, I know. I feel that. But please don’t be angry with me, please.”
Several of the victims’ families had forgiven Aguilera-Mederos for the crash. But Jones said state law required him to impose consecutive sentences.
“If I had the discretion, if I thought I had the discretion, I would not run those sentences consecutively,” Jones said.
The law does, however, permit for the reconsideration of sentences “in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances,” King’s motion reads.
110 years is beyond excessive especially for an accident.