Trucker In I-70 Crash Posts Bail And Released From Jail… Is He A “Flight Risk?”
Denver, Colorado – The truck driver facing a mountain of felony charges following a 28-vehicle crash along I-70 last month, resulting in the deaths of four people, is now out of jail.
23-year-old truck driver Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos posted bail on Saturday and has since been released.
In an April 27 court appearance, District Judge Chris Zenisek ordered Mederos’ bond set at $400,000.
Deputy District Attorney Kate Knowles requested, at that time, that Mederos’ bond be set at $500,000 arguing that the seriousness of his actions and the absence of his ties to Colorado warranted such an amount.
“This individual has no ties whatsoever to the state of Colorado except for this horrendous accident he caused,” Knowles said. “He is here on a green card. He has lived in Houston, according to the pre-trial interview, only for 2 years. He has nothing whatsoever keeping him here in Colorado.”
Attorney representing Mederos, Robert Corry, argued Mederos’ compliance in the investigation, lack of criminal history and sadness for the lives lost should be factors in keeping the bail amount “reasonable.”
Still, Judge Zenisek deemed Mederos’ a potential “flight risk.”
In an effort to ensure Mederos appears in court, he ordered that if bail is posted, Mederos must stay in Colorado, not operate a commercial vehicle and surrender his Cuban passport.
Corry told Judge Zenisek during the hearing that Mederos’ Cuban passport, driver’s license and green card were “incinerated” in the crash.
Further, Corry claimed obtaining a new Cuban passport would be “incredibly difficult.”
Corry said Mederos has “extensive” family in both Houston, Texas and Miami, Florida, and was not a flight risk.
Family members and friends of Mederos have been working to get him out of jail since the accident occurred.
While proclaiming his innocence, supporters of Mederos have conducted numerous online fund raising efforts calling on friends and family both in the U.S. and Cuba to aid in helping him make bail and pay for private legal representation.
Mederos’ father, Rogel Manuel Aguilera Hernandez, told Denver local news outlet 9News last month, “I lament this so much, because my son, I am sure that my son didn’t want to kill anyone because my son has a great heart. He wasn’t able to stop because his breaks didn’t respond.”
“God Is With Me”
Mederos expressed his appreciation to his supporters through a Facebook post made on his behalf by his wife, Nailan Gonzalez, after she visited with him by phone late last month.
“God is with me; this is not fair what they’re doing to me, but I never thought that I’d have a whole world supporting me on the outside,” the post said.
After Mederos was released from jail on Saturday, Gonzalez once again took to Facebook to express their appreciation.
She wrote, “Thank you all for so much support. Tomorrow we will make a post like the ones you all deserve…. one and a thousand times more thanks to each of you… God bless you.”
“At Least A Year”
Mederos is facing 4 misdemeanor counts and 36 felony counts which include: four counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault, two counts of vehicular assault and 24 counts of attempt first-degree assault.
In a recent interview with Jay Tiftickjian, who is the President of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and specializes in DUI and traffic offenses, he told Transportation Nation Network it will likely take “at least a year to get to the trial.”
Tiftickjian also said if Mederos chooses not to seek a plea deal then it is likely he and his representation will opt for a 12-person jury trial rather than a court trial, which would put the verdict in the hands of a judge.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to bring you new developments in the case.
Read more of Transportation Nation Network’s reporting on this story HERE.