Millions Sign Petition To Change 110-Year Sentence For Truck Driver
By Bill Galluccio
December 18, 2021
Nearly four million people have signed a change.org petition asking for leniency for a truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in jail for causing a crash that left four people dead.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of 42 counts relating to the crash, including four counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of assault in the first degree, and 10 counts of attempt to commit assault in the first degree. The lengthy prison sentence is the result of mandatory minimum sentencing laws in Colorado.
Aguilera-Mederos claims his brakes failed as he barreled downhill on I-70 before slamming into cars stopped in traffic due to another accident. Prosecutors countered that he acted recklessly as he lost control of his truck, pointing out that he didn't downshift properly and failed to use a runaway truck ramp.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge A. Bruce Jones said he would not have handed down such a long sentence, but he had no choice because of Colorado's laws.
"If I had the discretion, if I thought I had the discretion, I would not run those sentences consecutively," he said.
Many of the people signing the petition believe the prison term is too long and that he is being harshly punished for something that was an accident.
"There doesn't seem to be an intentionality of murder, and he's getting a sentence that would rival a mass murderer," attorney Bryan Kuhn told KSN. "I think that is not sitting well, I think a lot of people think there maybe should be a long jail sentence, but this may be just a little too much for some folks."
Aguilera-Mederos can appeal the sentence or request a pardon from Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
"We are aware of this issue, the Governor and his team review each clemency application individually," a spokesperson for his office told KSN.