A Colorado truck driver has had 100 years shaved off of his sentence over a case that the state’s governor called an “unjust sentence.”
Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Thursday, Dec. 30, granted the application for a commutation to Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, cutting his sentence from 110 years to 10.
Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 years after he caused a traffic accident while driving his truck on Interstate 70 in 2019 that left four people dead, many others injured and destroyed 28 vehicles, according to the Post Millennial.
The prosecution accused the driver of making bad decisions, much of it amounting to his truck not being able to stop because of faulty brakes. The defendant was sentenced on 27 counts, including vehicular homicide.
Aguilera-Mederos argued that he is not a criminal.
“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,” he said in court.
The brother of one victim, William Bailey, said that the length of the initial sentence in itself was unexpected. “None of us expected or wanted him to spend 110 years in jail. It was an act of negligence and not caring by the driver.”
Colorado District Attorney Alexis King filed a motion on Dec. 21, requesting the court to review the sentence of Aguilera-Mederos,” and a legal team for the driver submitted an application for clemency with the governor, according to Fox News.
Meanwhile, more than five million people also signed a petition demanding a review of the punishment the 26-year-old driver had to face.
Just before Christmas, protesters gathered at Colorado’s state Capitol in Denver to demand a shorter sentence in the Aguilera-Mederos case.
In his decision of clemency, Gov. Jared Polis wrote, “After learning about the highly atypical and unjust sentence in your case, I am commuting your sentence to 10 years and granting you parole eligibility on Dec. 30, 2026.”
“Your sentence is disproportionate compared with many other inmates in our criminal justice system who committed intentional, premeditated, or violent crimes.”
“There is an urgency to remedy this unjust sentence and restore confidence in the uniformity and fairness of our criminal justice system, and consequently I have chosen to commute your sentence now,” Polis wrote.