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District attorney's office files motion to reconsider truck driver's 110-year sentence

Gov. Polis says he has received application for clemency
rogel lazaro aguilera-mederos in court.png
Posted at 2:41 PM, Dec 21, 2021

The Colorado First Judicial District Attorney's Office has filed a motion to reconsider the 110-year sentence of a truck driver convicted in a deadly crash on I-70 in April 2019.

Following the Dec. 13 sentencing, millions have taken to social media to share their anger over the decision.

More than 4.5 million people have signed a Change.org petition calling for Rogel 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.

A rally supporting Aguilera-Medero is scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Colorado State Capitol Building's west steps. You can register to watch on Zoom here. You can also watch it in the embed below.

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.

He was also convicted on multiple counts of careless driving, reckless driving, and vehicular assault, though the jury found he was not guilty on several counts of attempted first-degree assault.

The motion filed by the district attorney's office states, in part, "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."

Read the full motion below or by clicking here.

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 People brought this option to the Court’s attention at the initial sentencing. C.R.S. 18-1.3-406(1)(a) permits this review after the receipt of a report on the Defendant’s diagnosis and evaluation. Now that the Defendant has been sentenced, the People again request the Court set a hearing as soon as practicable upon the receipt of the report. Consistent with the People and the Court’s obligation under the Victim Rights Amendment, the People have begun conferring with the victims in this case to obtain and consider their input in advance of the Court’s hearing and notify them of the date determined by the Court. The People intend to file supplemental information prior to the hearing.

District Attorney Alexis King's office released an additional statement Tuesday evening that says the office is asking for an expedited hearing. The DA's office said the Colorado Department of Corrections has expedited their report at the request of the DA's office, and it may be completed as early as Dec. 23. A hearing has been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 27.

"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. 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," the statement from the DA's office says.

"I'm excited that, at least for now, that there's options open for my client, and we're going to look at every option available to help this this kid get his sentence reduced," said Leonard Martinez, attorney on the legal team for Aguilera-Mederos.

Martinez said they understand four people lost their lives, but a 110-year sentence is too much.

"We understand that four individuals lost their lives, and people were hurt in this case," he said. "But you know, when you take a look at the precedent that has been set, not only in this state but throughout the country, on what people are facing for this type of, of case, ... anything from six months to two years, is what they're facing."

Tuesday afternoon, Kim Kardashian West shared a series of tweets about the case, saying, in part, "Colorado law really has to be changed and this is so unfair. Governor Jared Polis is a really good person and I know he will do the right thing."

Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said they welcomed the involvement the case has received.

"The Kardashians have been involved in social justice issues, and we're just glad they added their name to his petition," Garcia said.

He said he also received a call Tuesday from the CEO of change.org about the support the online petition had generated.

"They've been amazed at the outpouring of support" Garcia said.

Garcia will be meeting with the family of Aguilera-Mederos and Gov. Jared Polis sometime Wednesday.

During an update on COVID-19 in Colorado Tuesday afternoon, 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 district attorney's office said since the motion "essentially re-opens the case" it means the office cannot comment further for the time being.

This motion comes after a social media post by a prosecutor who worked on the case sparked some controversy amid uproar over the sentence.

Denver7's CB Cotton contributed to this report.