Dozens gathered outside Colorado’s Capitol building in protest of the 110-year sentence given to a Houston truck driver found guilty in a 2019 deadly car pile-up.
“Whether that’s clemency in the form of a partial commutation or some other action, we’re asking that Governor Polis review that case,” said Democratic state Sen. Julie Gonzales Wednesday.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who was 23 at the time of the crash, was sentenced in Colorado last week to 110 years in prison after he was found guilty on 27 counts in the 2019 crash that killed four people and injured others.
FILE – This 2019 photo provided by the Lakewood Police Department shows Rogel Aguilera-Mederos. Aguilera-Mederos, who was convicted in October 2021 of causing a fiery pileup that killed four people and injured six others on Interstate 70 west of Denver in April 2019, was sentenced Monday, Dec. 13 to 110 years in prison. (Lakewood Police Department via AP, File) (Lakewood Police Department via AP, File)
Investigators of the crash said Aguilera-Mederos lost control of the semi-truck after its brakes failed on a highway near Denver. The truck failed to take runaway truck ramps and was going about 85 miles per hour before it slammed into dozens of other cars that were stopped on the highway, causing an explosion.
Prosecutors argued that Aguilera-Mederos could have used several runaway ramps before the crash but instead made a “bunch of bad decisions.”
FILE – Workers clear debris from the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 on April 26, 2019, in Lakewood, Colo., following a deadly pileup involving a semi-truck hauling lumber. A truck driver who was convicted of causing the fiery pileup that killed four people and injured six others on Interstate 70 west of Denver was sentenced Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, to 110 years in prison. Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was convicted in October of vehicular homicide and other charges stemming from the April 2019 crash. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File) (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Aguilera-Mederos became emotional during his sentencing, and said, “I would have preferred God taken me instead of them.”
The sentencing set off a wave of condemnation, including from Kim Kardashian, and planned protests. A petition on Change.org also has more than 4.7 million signatures advocating for clemency or commutation for Aguilera-Mederos.
“I know everyone has been posting about Rogel Aguilera-Mederos this week. I took a deep dive in it to figure out what the situation is,” Kardashian wrote in her Instagram Story Tuesday. “For those who don’t know about this case, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos is a 26 year old that was sentenced 110 years in prison for driving a semi-tractor-trailer and crashed into traffic killing four people. He was not drunk or under the influence, his brakes on the semi-tractor-trailer failed.”
Those at the protest on Wednesday in Denver argued Aguilera-Mederos is a “a victim of malicious prosecution.”
Calls for leniency continue to grow in the case of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, who was recently sentenced to 110-years in prison for a 2019 crash that killed four people. (Fox News)
“What happened was tragic, and we believe that he’s a victim of malicious prosecution,” said LULAC president, Domingo Garcia, ABC Denver reported. “We had a very productive meeting. I articulated the reasons that we believe Mr. Aguilera-Mederos should receive either a pardon or commuted sentence.”
Garcia believes Aguilera-Mederos’ case should have been a civil case, not a criminal one, despite a jury finding him guilty and the Colorado Motor Carriers Association acknowledging that the brake failures were a human error and not a mechanical one.
“To prosecute him and kind of make an example out of him, I don’t think would’ve happened number one if he wasn’t a Latino and number two if he wasn’t an immigrant,” Garcia said. “I think race played a role in this.”
UNITED STATES – JANUARY 13: Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., speaks during a House Democrats’ news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, to discuss plans to educate immigrant communities for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in November. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) ((Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call))
The district attorney, as of Wednesday, moved to reconsider the sentence, while Democratic Gov. Jared Polis is looking at an application for clemency from Aguilera-Mederos’ legal team.
“Once we reach a decision, we will make an announcement,” a Polis spokesperson told Fox News earlier this week.