Brother of crash victim calls Gov. Polis a ‘despicable human being’ for commuting truck driver’s sentence

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(Video Credit: CBS Mornings)

Following Gov. Jared Polis commuting the sentence of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos from 110 years to 10 years after the 2019 fatal crash that killed four in Colorado, the brother of one of the victims is slamming him for it, calling the governor a “despicable human being.”

Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to 110 years in prison for it. After a viral petition and support by socialite Kim Kardashian, the pressure mounted and the governor stepped in.

Duane Bailey, whose brother Bill Bailey was one of the victims in the April 2019 crash, accused Polis of being politically motivated in his reduction of the sentence.

He also claims that Aguilera-Mederos lied on his job application about his experience as a truck driver and “exaggerated job titles,” according to the Denver Channel.

“He’s testified he’s panicked. Who wouldn’t be? But, he put himself in that position. It wasn’t an accident,” Bailey asserted.

“This was not an accident, it was a series of decisions on the part of the driver that caused [four] deaths,” he noted. “The jury heard the evidence and convicted him.”

He called Polis a “despicable human being” when he didn’t allow a new sentencing hearing to convene on Jan. 13. Bailey also accused Polis of using the tragic Colorado fires to deflect from his decision on the sentencing of the truck driver.

“You also have to realize [Aguilera-Mederos] will not spend the entire 10 years the governor put his sentence at. He could get out in as little as 5 years,” Bailey noted, according to CBS Denver. “Would your brother’s life be adequately compensated if he spent 1 1/4 years per death in prison?”

“As far as I’m concerned, [Polis] undermined the integrity of the courts,” Bailey told CBS4 Denver.

“The governor has decided political and social media pressure is more important than the victims of this crash,” he railed.

The truck driver openly wept when he addressed the court at his sentencing in December. He pleaded with the families of the victims for forgiveness. He sobbed that he was not a criminal and “never thought about hurting anybody in my entire life.”

(Video Credit: CBS Denver)

Judge Bruce Jones appeared to disagree with the 110-year mandatory minimum sentence as well. It was splashed across national headlines and Kim Kardashian spoke in the driver’s defense. Millions signed a petition to reduce his sentence.

Polis declared that the initial punishment was “arbitrary and unjust.” He labeled the accident a “tragic but unintentional act.”

“While you are not blameless, your sentence is disproportionate compared with many other inmates in our criminal justice system who committed intentional, premeditated, or violent crimes,” Polis declared in a letter according to Fox News.

“He [Polis] felt that the 110-year sentence was too severe. And we told him that we agreed with that. We also told him, he should stay out of it,” Bailey stated, according to the Denver Channel.

A number of the families of the victims also believe the sentencing was too harsh according to Fox News.

Aguilera-Medros, 26, recounted in his testimony that he attempted to slam on the brakes to stop the semitrailer hauling lumber on April 25, 2019. But it evidently didn’t work. Prosecutors went after him for not taking any runaway truck ramps to prevent the collision. He was going 85 mph on Interstate 70 west of Denver when the accident occurred.

The collision caused a 28-vehicle chain-reaction wreck that ruptured gas tanks. The ensuing fire consumed a number of vehicles. Those that died in the incident include Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24; William Bailey, 67; Doyle Harrison, 61; and Stanley Politano, 69.

Aguilera-Medros was on a part of the interstate where commercial vehicles are not supposed to exceed 45 mph because of a steep descent from the Rocky Mountain foothills, according to investigators.


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