GOLDEN, Colo. — A Jefferson County District Court judge held a hearing Monday morning on the district attorney's request to reconsider the 110-year sentence for a truck driver who caused a deadly crash on Interstate 70.
Judge Bruce Jones questioned the attorneys on both sides on procedures the court should follow for a resentencing for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos – a situation the attorneys called "unprecedented" and "exceptional" – before he set date of Jan. 13 for a reconsideration hearing.
Jones asked the prosecution and defense to file arguments by Jan. 10 for what they believe Aguilera-Mederos' sentence should be and how much discretion under the law they think the judge has in setting that sentence.
> Video above: District Attorney Alexis King gives a statement after Monday's hearing..
Jones said he's open to hearing victim speak at the next hearing on their position on resentencing in the April 2019 crash that killed four people and injured more, but it's not a requirement.
"They've already gone through the emotional tumult," Jones said. "I don't want to put anybody through that again."
A jury in October found Aguilera-Mederos guilty on 27 counts in connection with the I-70 crash. The jury had to decide whether the crash resulted from a series of bad choices by the driver or a mechanical failure he had no control over.
The case has brought attention to Colorado's mandatory sentencing laws, which experts say played a role in the length of the sentence.
District Attorney Alexis King said last week that she will ask the court to consider a resentencing of 20 to 30 years. The long sentence given to Aguilera-Mederos earlier this month has sparked protests and an online petition was signed almost 5 million times for commutation or clemency.
"We will take the necessary steps to strike the appropriate balance when reaching a new sentence," King said after Monday's hearing.
She said she understood the desire for a quick resolution to the resentencing question: "I ask for your patience as we take steps provided for in law as we consider a new sentence," she said.
Leonard Martinez, attorney for Aguilera-Mederos, said last week that a sentence of 20 to 30 years "is still not consistent with the precedent of prior similar cases." He said Aguilera-Mederos' defense team will "keep all options open in achieving justice for Rogel," including the possibility of clemency from Gov. Jared Polis.
Martinez and his co-attorney James Colgan requested that the reconsideration hearing be held within 49 days of the original sentencing, which is the deadline for the defense to file an appeal.
Gov. Jared Polis said his office has received an application for clemency from Aguilera-Mederos' attorneys and that his legal team was reviewing the application.
Video below: The defendant in the fiery I-70 crash gives an emotional statement during sentencing.
Earlier this month, Jones sentenced Aguilera-Mederos to the required 10-year minimum for each of the six counts of first-degree assault with extreme indifference, to be served consecutively. Aguilera-Mederos was also sentenced to the required minimum of five years for each of the 10 counts of attempted first-degree assault with extreme indifference, also to be served consecutively.
The judge said the law required him to order those sentences to be served consecutively.
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