A 110-year prison sentence for a truck driver for a road accident that killed four people in Colorado led millions to sign a leniency petition and a prosecutor demanding a review of the sentence.
Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King filed a motion Friday asking the court to reconsider what is essentially a life sentence to 26-year-old Rogel Aguilera-Mederos for a 2019 crash he claims was caused by a brake system failure. The petition describes the case as “exceptional” and “with unusual and extenuating circumstances.”
The prosecutor’s office will consult with the victims before the start of the trial, the statement said. King’s office said Tuesday in a statement announcing the move that it will not provide further comment at this time.
More than 4.6 million people have signed an online petition calling for a mitigation of Aguilera-Mederos’s December 13 sentence, arguing that the accident was not deliberate or criminal and that he was sober at the time. Truck drivers also organized protests against the verdict using hashtags, including #NoTrucksToColorado and #NoTrucksColorado.
Aguilera Mederos was transporting lumber on April 25, 2019, when he said his semiautomatic brakes had failed on Interstate 70, causing it to roll down a mountainous interstate and get stuck in traffic in Lakewood. The prosecutor’s office accused him of speeding and of not using the ramp that was leaving the place, intended for cars that had lost their brakes.
But even the judge in charge of the case, District Court Judge Bruce Jones, expressed disapproval of the lofty verdict. He said the deadline is the minimum required by state law for the 27 counts on which Aguilera-Mederos was convicted, which must be carried out consistently.
“I will state that if I had a margin of appreciation, this would not be my verdict,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
“In all the victim statements I’ve read, I don’t learn from them that someone said, ‘He should be in prison for the rest of his life, and he should never, never get out,” Jones said during the hearing. sentence.
Since then, an issue has also been raised about the apparently handcrafted trophies reportedly exchanged between the two district attorneys in charge of the case.
Jefferson County Deputy District Attorney Kayla Wildman posted on social media on an undisclosed day a photograph of a truck’s brake shoe, which was turned into what she called a “special gift” to commemorate the case. It has a sign that says Box I-70 and the file number. According to The Denver Post, a post deleted after that mentions that Senior District Attorney Trevor Moritzky gifted her with the item.
“I am very grateful that this test led you into my career as a colleague and friend!” read the post.
King, in a statement to the Denver Channel on Tuesday, said Wildeman’s message was written “in very bad taste,” and said the brake part was not from the crash site.
“Fasting … does not reflect the values of my administration. We decided it internally, ”she told the radio station. Her office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Kim Kardashian West, who recently took a freshman exam in California, was among those who expressed outrage not only at Aguilera-Mederos’ verdict, but also at this social media post.
“I’m so sick,” she tweeted Tuesday. “Colorado law really needs to be changed and it’s so unfair.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said at a press conference on Tuesday that his office has received a pardon petition for Aguilera Mederos and that his legal team is reviewing it.
“When we have a decision, we will announce it,” Polis said, according to local radio station KDVR.
Aguilera-Mederos’ attorney, James Colgan, also told The Denver Post that he plans to appeal the verdict, which he said would mean any request for clemency or leniency would have to wait until that appeal is considered. Colgan did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.