Relatives, lawmakers and other supporters of a trucker sentenced to 110 years in prison after his brakes failed and caused a crash that left four people dead rallied in Denver on Wednesday to plead for clemency.
Supporters of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos say the sentence is crule and truck drivers around the country have taken up his cause, using hashtags like #NoTrucksToColorado and #NoTrucksColorado.
Speaking at the rally at the state Capitol, Leonard Martinez, one of the lawyers representing Aguilera-Mederos, said the injustice of such long sentences needs to be addressed, both by reforming sentencing laws but also looking at the actions of prosecutors and judges.
“This fight is not just for him but for all,” he said. “I want to see my son,” Oslaida Mederos, the mother of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, said in Spanish between sobs on the steps of the Colorado Capitol on December 22.
Mederos joined around 100 of her son’s supporters to call on Governor Jared Polis to reduce or commute the 110-year sentence that Aguilera-Mederos had been given in Jefferson County last week for a truck crash on Interstate 70 near Colorado Mills Parkway that left four people dead in April 2019. Aguilera-Mederos was 23 at the time of the crash.
The Colorado judge has said mandatory-minimum sentencing laws forced him to impose the long prison term after Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of vehicular homicide and other charges.
His family said in a statement they do not want to minimize the loss of those killed in the crash, but are calling on Gov. Jared Polis to “take immediate action” to reduce the sentence for the 26-year-old man with no criminal record. He was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and fully cooperated with investigators, supporters said in a statement.
“I can tell you that Rogel is humbled by everyone’s support. He’s grateful for everyone’s support,” Aguilera-Mederos’s new lawyer, Leonard Martinez, said at the rally.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DENVER POST
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