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Governor urged to shorten man's 110-year sentence as millions sign petition

CBS News logo CBS News 12/22/2021 CBS News
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Nearly five million people have signed an online petition for a truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in prison after his truck plowed into a line of vehicles near Denver in 2019, killing four people. 

A Colorado judge sentenced Rogel Aguilera-Mederos after a jury found him guilty on four counts of vehicular homicide and 23 other charges related to the accident.  

During his sentencing, Aguilera-Mederos tearfully begged for forgiveness and told the court that he "cries all the time" when thinking about the accident. 

Aguilera-Mederos said his brakes malfunctioned while he was driving on Interstate 70. But videos show he may have missed a runaway truck ramp along the highway where prosecutors say he could have pulled off.  

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He received all minimum sentences but Colorado state law requires that each sentence be served consecutively. The length of the sentence is something the judge even said he objected to. 


Video: 3 million sign petition after trucker driver gets 110-year sentence (CBS News)

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"If I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence," he said.  

By Wednesday, more than 4.6 million people had signed the change.org petition, asking Colorado Governor Jared Polis to grant clemency to Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, or commutation for time served. 

The petition went viral on social media with celebrities like Kim Kardashian West also asking Governor Polis to commute or shorten the lengthy sentence. 

Governor Polis' office has received a clemency request and is reviewing the sentence, according to a spokesperson.  

Some family members of those who died in the crash have weighed on the sentencing. 

The crash killed 24-year-old Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 61-year-old Doyle Harrison, 69-year-old Stanley Politano and 67-year-old William Bailey.

Gage Evans, the wife of Bailey, who died in the crash, said sentencing laws should be reviewed but the sentence should not be commuted. 

""He was found guilty of reckless behavior that killed my husband that was the most important thing to me," said Evans.

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