The governor of Colorado reduced this Thursday to 10 years the sentence of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the truck driver who had received a 110-year sentence for an accident that left four dead in April 2019 in that state.
It is unknown what will happen now with the sentencing review hearing that had previously been set this week for January 13.
Around 5 million people signed an online petition asking for clemency for the Aguilera-Mederos.
What does the letter sent by the governor of Colorado say?
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The decision on the sentencing of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was one of several commutations and end-of-year pardons issued by Polis.
“I am writing to inform you that I accept your request for commutation. After knowing the extremely atypical and unfair sentence in your case, I am going to reduce his sentence to 10 years and grant him eligibility for parole on December 30, 2026, “says the letter sent by the governor.
The governor pointed out that his decision is based on the circumstances of the case, since he was sentenced to “more than a life sentence for a tragic but involuntary act.”
“While you are not without guilt, your sentence is disproportionate compared to many other inmates in our criminal justice system who committed willful, premeditated or violent crimes.”
In his letter, the governor also said that the length of his 110-year sentence is simply not commensurate with his actions, nor with the penalties imposed on others for similar crimes.
“It is urgent to remedy this unjust sentence and restore confidence in the uniformity and fairness of our criminal justice system and, as a consequence, I have chosen to commute his sentence now,” he wrote.
The accident for which Rogel Aguilera was convicted
The accident occurred in 2019, on I-70 in Colorado, and 28 vehicles were damaged after the truck driving Aguilera-Mederos ran into a traffic jam caused by another car and jumped onto the shoulder to try to avoid other vehicles. . Four people died and a dozen were injured.
Aguilera-Mederos stated that the brakes on his cargo truck failed before he rammed into several vehicles that had slowed down due to another accident. The prosecution said the young man must have used an emergency ramp designed for such situations.
Aguilera-Mederos faced 42 charges, including vehicular manslaughter, assault and attempted assault, in connection with the accident. Judge Bruce Jones imposed the 110-year sentence on December 13 after finding it to be the mandatory minimum term established by state law, noting that it would not have been his choice.
Hearing the sentence, Aguilera-Mederos said, through tears, that it had been a terrible accident. “I am apologizing to everyone involved,” he said. “Sorry for the loss, for the injured people. I know they have a trauma, I know, I’m sorry,” he said. “But please don’t be mad at me… I was working hard for a better future for my family. I never thought of hurting anyone in my entire life. “The young man arrived from Cuba at 19 years old.
Aguilera-Mederos assured that he would have preferred to die than the people who died as a result of the accident.
The accident killed Miguel Ángel Lamas Arellano, 24, William Bailey, 67, Doyle Harrison, 61, and Stanley Politano, 69.