A Colorado district attorney asked a judge to reduce the sentence for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, a trucker convicted in a crash that killed four, from 110 years to 20 to 30 years.
First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King said that “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.”
A status hearing is scheduled for Monday. Defense lawyer James Colgan told CNN Monday that he expects the hearing to be procedural in nature.
The judge, he added, will likely set the sentencing hearing for a later date.
“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,” according to King’s statement. “This sentencing range reflects an appropriate outcome for that conduct, which was not an accident.”
Aguilera-Mederos was going 85 mph in a semi tractor-trailer in April 2019 when his brakes went out, he told investigators at the time. The incident caused a 28-car pileup on Interstate 70 that left four dead and injured many others, said the Lakewood Police Department at the time.
The 26-year-old was found guilty on four counts of vehicular homicide as well as 23 other charges, including six counts of assault in the first degree, in the case. Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced earlier this month.
Colorado District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones said on Dec. 13 that he was bound to the mandatory minimum sentencing laws in Colorado when he handed down the 110-year prison term.
But King requested a hearing, according to a motion that was recently filed by her office.
“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,” her motion read (pdf).
Colgan, the defense lawyer, told ABC News that he believes King’s request for a commuted sentence came after a Change.org petition obtained more than 5 million signatures and advocated for a reduced sentence. Public pressure is now playing a role in the prosecution’s recent actions, he suggested.
“I find it interesting that two weeks ago they were fine with 110 years and only now that public outcry has blown in their face do they not want 110 years,” Colgan said. “It’s just politics.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, also said he is considering an application of clemency for Mederos that is asking for a commutation.