Colorado Governor reduces trucker's sentence to 10 years

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reduced the sentence of a truck driver who was convicted in a fatal crash to 10 years on Thursday. This drastically decreased his original 110-year sentence that caused widespread outrage.

Colorado Governor reduces trucker's sentence to 10 years

Polis made several year-end pardons and commutations, including the Rogel Aguilera Mederos sentence decision.

This decision comes just days after a judge set a hearing next month to review the sentence. The request was made by the district attorney who wanted to reduce it to 20-30 years.

A petition was signed by over 5 million people to seek clemency for Aguilera Mederos. He was convicted of vehicular murder and other charges in the 2019 deadly pileup, which resulted in four deaths.

Aguilera Mederos stated that he was hauling lumber and the brakes on the semitrailer he was using failed while he was climbing a steep slope of Interstate 70 in Rocky Mountain foothills. His truck crashed into other vehicles, causing a chain reaction crash that set off a fireball that consumed cars and destroyed parts of the highway.

Judge Bruce Jones sentenced Bruce Jones to 110 years in prison on December 13. He found it mandatory under state law and noted that he would not have chosen it.

Prosecutors argued that Aguilera Mederos could have used a ramp to stop his truck from barreling down the mountains.

Alexis King, District Attorney, said that she was disappointed by the governor's decision on Thursday. It was premature, she said. This decision went against the will of the families of those who have lost loved ones and the survivors. They wanted the sentence to be determined by the judge who supervised the trial.

She stated that she was meeting with victims and their loved ones to help them navigate this unprecedented action, and to ensure that they are treated with dignity, fairness, and respect during this difficult period.

Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano was killed at the crash. William Bailey, William Bailey, Doyle Harrison, and Stanley Politano were also killed.

Polis wrote to Aguilera Mederos explaining that he was not innocent of the crash but that the 110-year sentence was excessive when compared to inmates who had committed violent, intentional, or premeditated crimes.

Although the governor stated that the case would encourage a discussion on sentencing laws and spark a debate, he pointed out that any future changes to Aguilera Medieros would not be in Aguilera's favor.

Polis wrote that he felt the need to immediately rescind his sentence and restore trust in the fairness and uniformity of our criminal justice system.

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