A judge in Colorado has scheduled a resentencing hearing for a truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in jail for causing an accident that left four people dead. Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was convicted on dozens of charges relating to the 2019 crash.
Aguilera-Mederos claimed that his brakes failed as he barreled down I-70 towards cars sitting in traffic due to an earlier accident. However, prosecutors painted a different picture, claiming he was negligent and could have prevented the deadly 28-car pileup.
When Judge A. Bruce Jones handed down the harsh sentence, he said he had no choice because of Colorado’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
“I will state that if I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,” Jones said.
There was public outcry after Aguilera-Mederos was handed the lengthy sentence, with millions of people signing a Change.org petition asking authorities to reconsider the harsh penalty.
In a rare turn of events, prosecutors petitioned the judge to reduce the sentence. Jones said he will give both sides time to look into procedural questions to ensure that Aguilera-Mederos maintains his right to an appeal after the resentencing hearing.
First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King said her office will recommend a sentence of 20-30 years behind bars.
“This is an exceptional case and requires an exceptional process,” King told reporters. “The defendant caused the death of four people, serious bodily injury to others, and the impact of his truck caused damage to many more in our community,” King continued. “Knowing all of that, my office started the resentencing process the same week the defendant was sentenced so that the court could consider an alternative sentence that was not bound by mandatory sentencing structures.”