Video of Trucker Rogel Aguilera-Mederos Addressing Court Viewed 2 Million Times

A clip of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos making an emotional plea before a Colorado judge sentenced him to 110 years in jail over a crash that killed four people has gone viral.

On December 13, District Court Judge Bruce Jones handed the 26-year-old the lengthy prison term after he was found guilty in October of 27 charges, including four counts of vehicular homicide and six counts vehicular assault, over the fatal crash, which occurred on Interstate 70 in Lakewood near Denver in April 2019.

Aguilera-Mederos said that the crash was due to the brakes of his truck malfunctioning while he was on the highway. The company the Cuban national was reportedly driving for at the time was the Houston-based Castellano 03 Trucking LLC.

On December 16, as outrage over the 110-year sentence grew, Twitter user Joseph Morris posted a clip of Aguilera-Mederos begging for forgiveness and leniency while at the Colorado court.

“I respect my family, and I respect myself, I respect the people who believe in me that I’m not a criminal,” Aguilera-Mederos said while crying.

After taking a moment to compose himself, Aguilera-Mederos adds: “I want to say sorry. Sorry for the loss, for the people injured. I know they have trauma, I know, I feel that.

“But please, don’t be angry with me…I was working hard for a better future for my family. I have never thought about hurting anybody in my entire life.”

The clip has since been viewed more than 2 million times online.

Elsewhere during his address to the judge, Aguilera-Mederos said: “Please don’t be angry with me for saying I was not out robbing a bank or a store,” reported WSWS.

“I was not out shooting up crowds or a school. I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I was working and I lost my brake. Truck drivers know this hard moment when you lose your brake. There’s nothing you can do.”

As Aguilera-Mederos lost control of his truck, he collided with several vehicles, which resulted in a gas tank exploding, causing a massive blaze on the highway.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that the 26-year-old could have used one of several runaway ramps on the side of the interstate which are designed to help vehicles which have lost their brakes come to a safe stop, rather than smash into the cars.

Following the State Law

Judge Jones said he was forced to hand Aguilera-Mederos the 110-year-sentence as state law requires each count should be served consecutively, rather than concurrently.

“If I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,” Jones said.

A petition urging Aguilera-Mederos be granted clemency following his sentence has since been signed by more than 4.3 million people.

“This accident was not intentional, nor was it a criminal act on the driver’s part,” the petition aimed at Governor Jared Polis and Jefferson County Courts states.

Mark Silverstein, legal director for the ACLU of Colorado, condemned the sentence as “grossly excessive.”

“It cries out for the reform of sentencing laws. But I think calls for change also need to be directed at the seldom-criticized but largely unchecked power of prosecutors,” Silverstein told the Associated Press.

“They have the power to decide who goes to prison and for how long. Prosecutors decide on the charges to file, and they decide what plea bargains to offer.”

It is unclear if a formal request for clemency in Aguilera-Mederos’s case has been made.

Polis’ office has been contacted for comment.

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos
A clip of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos making an emotional plea before a Colorado judge sentenced him to 110 years has gone viral.
Lakewood Police Department

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