DENVER (KDVR) — The attorney for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the driver of a semitruck who caused a fiery Interstate 70 crash that killed four people, said an application for clemency commutation on behalf of Aguilera-Mederos is “in the works.”
“Part of the application process requires the findings and evaluations by the Department of Corrections be sent to the governor. That isn’t the case with Mr. Mederos. He hasn’t been in the system very long,” Aguilera-Mederos’ attorney James Colgan said.
Colgan would not elaborate on where exactly Aguilera-Mederos is in the commutation process. It could allow Aguilera-Mederos to leave prison much sooner.
We asked former 18th Judicial District attorney George Brauchler how soon Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence could be commuted.
“The ability to grant any kind of clemency whether it’s a commutation or a pardon is a power granted to the governor and it really has no limits,” Brauchler said.
A march in support of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos took place Monday at the state Capitol.
“It’s kind of unbelievable this has happened. It seems like an overcharge so maybe there was an attempt to make him take the plea. I don’t believe he doesn’t deserve 110 years consecutively for making errors and bad decisions in the middle of a traumatic event,” rally organizer Jessica Luna said.
Late Monday afternoon Governor Jared Polis’ office said the governor and his team review each clemency application.
A spokesman said the governor welcomes an application from Aguilera-Mederos and will expedite consideration but has not yet received one at this time.
Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence and reactions
Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 consecutive years in prison on Dec. 13 for his role in the crash that killed four people in 2019.
A Change.org petition received more than 4 million signatures in support of Aguilera-Mederos.
Aguilera-Mederos was driving the 18-wheeler when he crashed into more than two dozen stopped vehicles and four semitrailers on Interstate 70 in Lakewood.
A jury found Aguilera-Mederos guilty of 27 counts in October:
- Vehicular homicide: 4 counts
- Vehicular assault: 2 counts
- Assault in the first degree – extreme indifference: 6 counts
- Criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree: 10 counts
- Reckless driving: 1 count
- Careless driving causing death: 4 counts
He was found not guilty of 15 counts of criminal attempts to commit assault in the first degree.
Aguilera-Mederos was driving a semitrailer loaded with lumber. Prosecutors say he barreled eastbound down the interstate from the mountains at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour. His truck swerved at times, forcing other drivers off the road.
A giant fireball erupted after Aguilera-Mederos slammed into dozens of cars already backed up on the highway because of an earlier crash.
Aguilera-Mederos claimed the brakes on the truck failed and he lost control.