The defense team for truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos won a key win in their effort to get the driver’s hefty jail term reduced.
On Tuesday, First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King filed a petition for an accelerated hearing to examine Aguilera-110-year Mederos’s jail sentence, which was handed down on December 13, 2021.
On Friday, King filed a motion for a sentencing hearing.
“Since Colorado law mandated the imposition of the sentence in this case, the law also allows the Court to review its decision in an extraordinary case with rare and mitigating circumstances,” the application argues.
According to KDVR, a date for the hearing will be determined on Monday.
Additionally, Colorado Governor Jared Polis stated that he received a mercy application from Aguilera-Mederos’ legal team. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has arranged to meet with Polis on Wednesday to campaign for Aguilera-Mederos.
The efforts to commute Aguilera-Mederos’ 110-year sentence came after more than a week of public protest against the verdict.
A Change.org petition seeking mercy or commuted sentence has already gathered 4.6 million signatures.
To protest the sentencing, several members of the trucking sector have vowed to cease transporting goods to Colorado.
Aguilera-Mederos’ struggle has even garnered the attention of superstar Kim Kardashian West, who released many Tweets in his defense on Tuesday afternoon.
I pray that Governor Polis, who has been a leader on supporting reforms that increase human dignity in the legal system, will commute his sentence.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 21, 2021
Prosecutors have also faced criticism for boasting about trading a brake shoe from Aguilera-Mederos’ vehicle as a keepsake following the sentencing.
Aguilera-Mederos was convicted on April 25, 2019, of 27 charges, including four counts of vehicular murder, in connection with a deadly chain reaction incident on I-70 near Lakewood, Colorado, on April 25, 2019.
Aguilera-Mederos lost control of his brakes and crashed into stalled traffic after bypassing a runaway ramp. 24 passenger automobiles and four semi-trucks were involved in the pileup. Four persons were killed and six more were injured.
District Court Judge Bruce Jones explained to Aguilera-Mederos that he was compelled to impose the 110-year jail sentence owing to Colorado’s required minimum sentencing guidelines, but added that “if I had the discretion,” he would not have imposed the punishment.
King stated that her agency sought to negotiate a plea deal with the Aguilera-Mederos legal team, but he would not entertain anything more than a traffic ticket.
Aguilera-Mederos stated in an emotional court speech minutes before the 110-year sentence was handed down that he is not a killer and never wanted to harm anyone. He expressed regret for the victims and stated that the deadly collision has caused him significant psychological suffering.
“It’s hard to live with this trauma. I can’t sleep, I’m thinking all the time about the victims,” Aguilera-Mederos told the court. “… This was a terrible accident, I know. I take the responsibility. But I’m not a criminal.”