By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS)– A modest crowd gathered in front of the state Capitol in downtown Denver Wednesday to demand a shorter sentence for convicted truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos.

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Aguilera-Mederos is the driver who crashed an out-of-control semi-truck into stopped traffic on Interstate 70 in Lakewood in 2019, killing four people and injuring several others. The crash damaged or destroyed 28 vehicles. Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of 27 counts, including vehicular homicide. Last week, a judge in Jefferson County sentenced him to 110 years in prison, citing minimum requirements under the law.

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Bobby and Cassandra are from Denver. They brought their family to the state Capitol to protest and say while they don’t know what Aguilera-Mederos should be sentenced to, but it should be less than what he got. “Definitely nowhere near what he has been sentenced to,” said Bobby.

“I think he should have his sentence reduced… 110 years is way too excessive,” said George Rodrigues who drove up from Colorado Springs to attend the demonstration.

Perhaps the loudest and most emotional voice was that of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ mother, who says the sentence destroyed her emotionally and tore their family apart.

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Through a translator, she said in Spanish, “Free my son because I’m going to die. I can’t handle this anymore.”

She says it has been especially hard on Rogel’s young son.

“His son keeps calling her saying, ‘Where’s my father? I want to see my father,'” she said.

Domingo Garcia the president of LULAC, the nation’s oldest Hispanic rights organization, met with Gov. Jared Polis asking him to commute Rogel’s sentence or pardon.

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“We do believe that basically, Black and brown defendants in this court, in this county, in Jefferson, as well as in this country have a double standard of justice,” he said.

LULAC has spoken with the lawyer that represented Aguilera-Mederos and they believe his ethnicity and the language barrier he has played a part in his conviction and sentencing.

“The fact that he was a Cuban-American, a permanent legal resident who needed a translator, weighed heavily on the jurors’ minds,” Garcia said.

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Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider the 110-year sentence, but in a press release Wednesday they also said they want to make sure the voices of the victims of the crash are heard during the resentencing process.

Michael Abeyta