I-70 crash truck driver sentence reduced to 10 years

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The truck driver sentenced to 110 years in prison for his role in a deadly crash that killed four people on Interstate 70 has received clemency from the governor.

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos applied for clemency from Gov. Jared Polis, who announced Thursday that he reduced the sentence to 10 years. Aguilera-Mederos will be eligible for parole on Dec. 30, 2026.

“The crimes you were convicted of are serious. Four individuals lost their lives and others were seriously injured because of your bad decisions,” Polis wrote in his clemency letter. “The families of these victims will never again have the chance to embrace their lost loved ones. This was a tragic event that affected many Coloradans. Though your actions have caused immense pain, I am encouraged by your personal reflection and the commercial vehicle safety changes that were made in the wake of this tragedy to ensure this type of event never happens again.”

Read the full clemency letter here.

Polis called the sentence “arbitrary and unjust” and called on the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to examine sentencing guidelines to “ensure greater consistency in sentencing to prevent future bizarre outcomes like the one in this case.”

Leonard Martinez, attorney for Aguilera-Mederos, released the following statement:

We are very grateful for the Governor’s thoughtful consideration throughout this process and for his willingness to grant clemency for a reduced sentence. The judge’s sentence of 110 years is unjust and not in line with prior case law, and we are thankful that the Governor agrees with us. We are reviewing this commutation of the sentence with Rogel and his family. The potential for Rogel to be reunited with his family rather than spend a lifetime behind bars is exciting for all involved.” 

The sentencing judge in Aguilera-Mederos’s case has publicly stated that he would likely not have imposed the sentence but was forced to follow Colorado mandatory sentencing laws, which require mandatory minimums for specified crimes and require sentences to be served consecutively not concurrently. The Jefferson County DA has also announced they would seek a reduced sentence of 20-30 years. 

More than 5 million people have signed a petition asking for his sentence to be commuted or reduced. Aguilera-Mederos has no criminal record, cooperated fully with investigators, and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.  

Leonard Martinez, attorney for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos

First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King issued the following statement:

From the beginning, we have followed the process set forth in the law to reach a just resolution of this case. We are disappointed in the Governor’s decision to act prematurely. I joined the surviving victims and families of those who lost their loved ones in their wish to have the trial judge determine an appropriate sentence in this case, as he heard the facts and evidence of the defendant’s destructive conduct that led to death, injury, and devastating destruction. We are meeting with the victims and their loved ones this evening to support them in navigating this unprecedented action and to ensure they are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect during this difficult time. We look forward to sharing more information with our community that we were ethically prohibited from releasing while the case was pending.

First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King

What led to this point

A jury in October found Aguilera-Mederos guilty of 27 counts in the crash, including four counts of vehicular homicide.

The 110-year sentence handed down Dec. 13 was because of mandatory minimum sentencing laws in Colorado that apply to crimes of violence — or any crime that results in death or injury.

The sentence sparked an international outcry to reduce his sentence and an online petition campaign that reached more than 5 million signatures as of Thursday. Aguilera-Mederos applied for clemency from the governor.

The First Judicial District Attorney’s office had also asked for a hearing to reconsider the sentence, but prosecutors were requesting 20-30 years. A hearing date was set for Jan. 13. The status of that hearing is unclear.

Aguilera-Mederos claimed during trial that his brakes failed as he traveled eastbound on I-70 toward the city, ultimately crashing into stopped traffic in Lakewood and killing four people and hurting at least 10 more.

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