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DA's office will ask court to reduce Rogel Aguilera-Mederos' sentence, hearing set for Monday

rogel lazaro aguilera-mederos in court.png
Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 10:40:21-05

The Colorado First Judicial District Attorney's Office will ask the court to reduce a truck driver's 110-year sentence to 20-30 years at an upcoming sentence reconsideration hearing, the district attorney announced in a statement Thursday.

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 years in prison after he was convicted in the deadly crash on I-70 in April 2019.

The case gained national attention as millions took to social media to to share their anger over the decision.

More than 4.8 million people have signed a petition calling for Aguilera-Mederos to have his sentence commuted or to be pardoned, saying the crash was a tragedy but the sentencing is unfair. On social media, posts are also petitioning for truck drivers to boycott Colorado until Aguilera-Mederos is released or the law is changed.

During the sentencing, Judge A. Bruce Jones said his hands were tied when it came to sentencing because of mandatory minimum laws in the state. On Oct. 15, a jury convicted Aguilera-Mederos, 26, on most of the 42 counts he faced, including vehicular homicide, first-degree assault, attempted first-degree assault, reckless driving and careless driving.

In a statement, First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King said her office will ask the court to consider a sentence range of 20 to 30 years. She said this decision was made "based on the facts of this case and input from the victims and their families."

“Based on the facts of this case and input from the victims and their families, my office will be asking the court to consider a sentencing range of 20-30 years when the Court is prepared to address resentencing. 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. This sentencing range reflects an appropriate outcome for that conduct, which was not an accident. Given that the victims in this case have more than one view of an appropriate outcome, and this trial court heard the evidence presented, we believe that this hearing is the best path to securing justice for everyone involved.

Our team has connected with defense counsel and will continue to do so as both parties prepare for this resentencing opportunity. We have also been working with the Governor’s Office to ensure that the victims and their loved ones are heard both in this process and the pending clemency application with the Governor. We are grateful for the coordination with the Governor’s office and thank the Department of Corrections for expediting the required evaluation report for resentencing.

As I have in the past, I continue to support the efforts of the Governor’s Sentencing Reform Task Force. Criminal justice reform, including sentencing reform, is a priority of my administration for safer and healthier communities for all. I have been in discussions with the co-chair of the task force and have encouraged him to continue their efforts to address felony sentencing reform in Colorado.”

Leonard Martinez, attorney for Aguilera-Mederos, also released a statement, saying the 20-30 year sentence recommendation by the district attorney's office "is still not consistent with the precedent of prior similar cases."

The defense for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos has received the announcement from District Attorney Alexis King’s office. Although we are glad to have the District Attorney acknowledge the unjust sentence that was handed to our client, it is still is not consistent with the precedent of prior similar cases throughout the State of Colorado and the entire country. We plan to move forward and keeping all options open in achieving justice for Rogel including the possibility of Clemency from the Governor of the State of Colorado.

On Tuesday, the Colorado First Judicial District Attorney's Office filed a motion to reconsider the 110-year sentence. King's office released an additional statement Tuesday evening stating the office is asking for an expedited hearing.

During an update on COVID-19 in Colorado Tuesday afternoon, Governor Jared Polis confirmed he has received an application for clemency in this case.

"We have just received the application from his lawyer yesterday afternoon and my legal team is reviewing it at this time. We'll make an announcement once a decision has been made," he told a reporter in Spanish.

The sentence reconsideration hearing has been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 27 at 11 a.m.