Rogel Aguilera-Mederos: Governor of Colorado reduces sentence for truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in fatal accident | Latest News Headlines

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos: Governor of Colorado reduces sentence for truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in fatal accident

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Rogel Aguilera-Mederos will now serve a 10-year sentence and be eligible for parole on December 30, 2026, according to a pardon letter Polis addressed to him.

Aguilera-Mederos was convicted in October of four counts of homicide and driving and 23 other counts related to the fiery accident, according to the office of the first prosecutor of the Colorado Judicial District.

He was driving a semi-trailer in April 2019, traveling at 85 mph, when the brakes failed, he told investigators at the time. He tried to pull over to the shoulder to avoid the traffic stopping, but another tractor-trailer had already stopped there, according to an arrest affidavit.

The crash led to a 28-car pile-up that left four people dead, the Lakewood Police Department said at the time. Killed were Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24; William Bailey, 67; Doyle Harrison, 61; and Stanley Politano, 69.

“The length of your 110-year sentence is simply not commensurate with your actions, or the sentences imposed on others for similar crimes,” Polis wrote in the pardon letter.

The long sentence had drawn a national review, with celebrities as Kim Kardashian West claiming a lesser sentence. More than 5 million people have signed a petition calling on the governor to reduce Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence.

In his letter, Polis wrote that the “arbitrary and unjust” award was “the result of a Colorado law passed by the legislature and signed by a previous governor and is not the fault of the judge who imposed the mandatory sentence. required by law in this case. “

During the Aguilera-Mederos sentencing hearing earlier this month, Colorado District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones said he was bound by minimum sentence laws state mandatory, according to CNN affiliate KMGH.

“This case will hopefully spark an important conversation about sentencing laws, but any subsequent changes to the law will not retroactively impact your sentence, which is why I am granting you this commutation. limited, ”Polis wrote.

James Colgan, one of Aguilera-Mederos’ attorneys, told CNN he was surprised the governor made the decision ahead of a hearing to reconsider the sentence that was scheduled for next month. Colgan said that was good news and that he expects Aguilera-Mederos to accept the offer of clemency.

“Obviously, I think that was the maximum sentence Mr. Mederos should have received – 10 years. And Mr. Mederos is of course extremely grateful for the governor’s decision,” Colgan said. “I think it’s a much more accurate reflection of what happened than the 110 years he received.”

Before the commutation, the first judicial district attorney, Alexis King, asked the court to consider a sentence of 20 to 30 years “on the basis of the facts of this case and the comments of the victims and their families”.

In a statement Thursday, King said: “We are disappointed with the governor’s decision to act prematurely.”

“We are meeting with the victims and their loved ones this evening to support them in this unprecedented action and to ensure that they are treated with fairness, dignity and respect during this difficult time,” she added.

In a press release Thursday, Polis also revealed that he had recently learned that a relative of Aguilera-Mederos’ lawyer worked in the governor’s office.

“This person had absolutely no involvement in the switching process and is working in a capacity unrelated to this matter, and was unaware of the governor’s decision in advance,” the statement said.

CNN’s Ashley Killough, Melissa Alonso, Michelle Watson, Ralph Ellis, Lucy Kafanov and Leslie Perrot contributed to this report.

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