What’s next in ‘unprecedented’ case of truck driver sentenced to 110 years

U.S. and World

GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) – There is no playbook for how to reduce the mandatory minimum sentence for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, a truck driver sentenced to 110 years in prison for causing a fiery crash on I-70. Regardless, the district attorney, Aguilera-Mederos’ defense team and the district court judge will press forward into uncharted legal waters.

Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King said her office continues to be in touch with the victims, and will be formally asking for a resentencing of 20 to 30 years for Aguilera-Mederos.

“This is an exceptional case, and it requires an exceptional process,” King said after the hearing. “In finding the verdict, the jury recognized the extreme nature of the defendant’s conduct, which warrants a prison sentence.”

Aguilera-Mederos was driving an 18-wheeler through the mountains when he claimed his brakes failed as he traveled toward the city. He ultimately crashed into more than two dozen stopped vehicles and four semitrailers, killing four people and hurting at least 10 more.

The 110-year sentence for Aguilera-Mederos was the result of mandatory minimum sentencing laws that apply to crimes of violence, which are any offense in which a person is killed or suffers serious bodily injury. The lengthy sentence caught people’s attention nationwide and sparked a petition signed by millions.

A key question the judge had during the hearing: How will the resentencing process impact Aguilera-Mederos’ right to an appeal? Under Colorado law, the defense has a window of time to file an appeal. In this case, the defense has until Jan. 31.

Judge Jones asked both the defense and prosecution to deliver memos by Jan. 10 to outline why the court should resentence and how it should go about doing so legally.

After a virtual hearing Monday, the judge has set another hearing date for Jan. 13.

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