After public outcry, Colorado Gov. Jared Police has reduced a 110-year prison sentence for a truck driver who was involved in a crash that left four people dead in 2019.
“I am writing to inform you that I am granting your application for a commutation,” Polis wrote in a letter late last month to truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos. “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 December 30, 2026.”
On Dec. 13, Mederos was sentenced to 110 years in prison after he plowed into traffic stopped on Interstate 70 outside of Denver, leaving four dead and several injured in 2019. He told investigators that his brakes failed but police said he was driving 40 mph over the speed limit and drove past a runaway truck ramp before driving into traffic.
Mederos was found guilty of 27 counts — the most serious was first-degree assault, a class-three felony, Mark Osborne and Deena Zaru reported for ABC News. State laws reportedly require that his sentences be served consecutively, instead of at the same time – which led to the lengthy 110-year sentence.
“The length of your 110-year sentence is simply not commensurate with your actions, nor with penalties handed down to others for similar crimes,” Polis said in his letter. “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.”
Politicians, activists and the general public immediately began calling for a lesser sentence. Even the judge on the case said if it were up to him, the sentence would be significantly shorter. Among those advocating for a lesser sentence, ABC reported, were the family members of some of those killed in the accident.
“I think we all can agree that [110 years] is excessive,” Duane Bailey, the brother of William Bailey who died in the crash, told “GMA,” but added that the jury “came to the correct decision to convict [Mederos].”