A Colorado prosecutor is asking a court to reconsider the 110-year sentence recently imposed on a truck driver who killed four people and injured many others in a deadly pileup that has prompted outcry from the trucking community and a petition signed by at least four million people.
First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King filed a motion Tuesday for a court to set a hearing to review the sentence of Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos.
"As Colorado law required the imposition of the sentence in this case, the law also permits the Court to reconsider its sentence in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances," the motion states. "This would allow for the conditions to be met for a modification of the defendant’s sentence as was discussed by the People in the initial sentencing hearing."
"The purpose for the People’s expedited request is so that the named victims in the case, as well as their families, have an opportunity to be heard by the trial court who is fully aware of the facts of the case," the motion continues. "We have spoken to the living victims and the families of the deceased victims, and it is their specific desire to be heard on this modification, in this forum, as quickly as possible."
Fox News has reached out to the attorney for Aguilera-Mederos.
Colorado prosecutors asked a court on Tuesday to reconsider the 110-year sentence imposed on Rogel Aguilera-Mederos for a 2019 crash that killed four people. (Source: Lakewood Police Department)
King's move came days after Aguilera-Mederos, 26, a Cuban immigrant, was handed down the lengthy prison sentence for the April 2019 fiery crash on Interstate 70 near Denver. Investigators said he lost control of the semi-truck after its brakes failed.
He was traveling at about 85 mph before crashing into dozens of stopped cars, causing an explosion. Prosecutors argued that he could have used several ramps to stop. An arrest affidavit said that Aguilera-Mederos tried pulling over to the shoulder off the road, but another semi was already stopped there.
Four people were killed: Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson; William Bailey, 67, and Stan Politano, 69, both of Arvada; and 24-year-old Denver resident Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano.
The crash damaged or destroyed 28 other vehicles and Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of vehicular homicide and 23 other charges.
"I am not a criminal," he tearfully said in court. "I am not a murderer. I am not a killer. When I look at my charges, we are talking about a murderer, which is not me. I have never thought about hurting anybody in my entire life."
Many have criticized the sentence as too harsh. Even Colorado District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones seemed not to agree with it but said he was bound by state laws on mandatory-minimum sentencing that required him to impose the punishment to run consecutively as opposed to concurrently.
The sentence has since set off a torrent of criticism of prosecutors and Colorado's sentencing guidelines. A petition posted to Change.org requesting commutation has garnered more than 4.5 million signatures.
Kayla Wildeman, the prosecutor in the case, has come under fire after a now-deleted Facebook post on her personal page showed an image of a trophy made from a brake shoe to celebrate the conviction.
"Get yourself a trial partner as great as Trevor Moritzky," the post reads. "He turned a brake shoe from a semi truck into a memento. What a special gift from a truly special person. I never asked for a new bff at work, let alone one that is old enough to be my father (no offense) but I sure am grateful this trial brought you into my career as both a colleague and a friend! Words will never convey how lucky I am to have gotten the opportunity to learn from you!"
Mortizky is a senior district attorney who worked with Wildeman on the case, according to local reports.
In a statement to Fox News, King said the piece was not evidence from the case.
"The post was in very poor taste and does not reflect the values of my administration," she said. We have addressed it internally."
Some celebrities have called for action in Aguilera-Mederos' favor. Kim Kardashian West on Tuesday tweeted for Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to commute the sentence. The legal team for Aguilera-Mederos has also submitted a clemency application to the governor's office.
"We just received Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ application and our legal team is currently reviewing it," Conor Cahill, a spokesperson for Polis, told Fox News in a statement. "Once we reach a decision, we will make an announcement."
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