A Colorado judge has scheduled a hearing for next month to reconsider the 110-year prison sentence he imposed on the young truck driver involved in the 2019 crash that killed four people on Interstate 70 near Denver.
District Court Judge Bruce Jones has set Jan. 13 for a hearing on the sentence handed to now 26-year-old Rogel Aguilera-Mederos after the trucker was found guilty of 27 counts at his trial in October. Jones Monday said he wanted to learn more about whether the law that allowed him to reconsider the sentence gave him discretion to set whatever sentence he wanted.
At the time he imposed the sentence, Jones said the length was required by the state's mandatory sentencing law.
District Attorney Alexis King said in a recent statement she would seek a term of 20 to 30 years. She said that would be an "appropriate outcome" for the case.
The sentence had become an internet sensation after it was imposed Dec. 13. A Change.org petition was signed by some 5 million people, and two high-profile celebrities spoke out against the sentence. Kim Kardashian and Jason Flom both called on the judge to reduce Aguilera-Mederos' sentence.
In addition, some individual truckers took to social media to urge drivers not to drive through or accept loads to Colorado.
Aguilera-Mederos had a flatbed filled with lumber April 25, 2019, and testified at his trial that his brakes failed while descending a steep grade of I-70 in the Rocky Mountain foothills. His truck plowed into vehicles that were stopped for an earlier mishap. The collision caused a chain-reaction wreck and fire that consumed vehicles and melted parts of the highway. Four people died and six others were injured.
The crash killed 24-year-old Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 67-year-old William Bailey, 61-year-old Doyle Harrison, and 69-year-old Stanley Politano.
A jury found Aguilera-Mederos guilty of 27 counts in October:
- four counts of vehicular homicide
- two counts of vehicular assault
- six counts of assault in the first degree – extreme indifference
- 10 counts of criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree
- one count of Reckless driving
- four counts of careless driving causing death
He was found not guilty of 15 counts of criminal attempts to commit assault in the first degree.