A 26-year-old truck driver in Colorado was sentenced to 110 years in prison for a fatal accident. Over four million signatures have been collected on a petition calling for his prison sentence to be shortened.
In 2019, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was driving a semi truck on Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colorado, when his brakes went out. Aguilera-Mederos lost control of the truck, causing him to crash into dozens of stopped cars. The accident caused a massive explosion and killed four people.
Aguilera-Mederos had no prior criminal record, nor were drugs or alcohol a factor. Prosecutors claimed Aguilera-Mederos failed to use the truck ramp provided on side of the expressway during the incident. For that reason, he was charged with 27 counts including vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. He was found guilty and sentenced to 110 years in prison.
“If I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,” Jefferson County District Judge Bruce Jones said, adding that he had “no desire” to sentence Aguilera-Mederos to life in prison, according to Reuters.
Judge A. Bruce Jones noted at Aguilera-Mederos’ sentencing on Monday that he believed the truck driver did not intentionally harm others, but was bound by the law to issue 26 consecutive sentences.
However, Colorado state law requires that time for each count to be served consecutively, not concurrently.
More than 4 million people have signed an online petition asking Gov. Jared Polis to grant clemency, or commutation as time served. The sentence has sparked a lot of reaction due to its length.
Judges are allowed to revisit sentences after 119 days under Colorado’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws.