The widow of a Colorado man who was killed in a fiery pileup crash caused by a truck driver has hit out at Kim Kardashian for demanding clemency for her husband’s killer, calling the socialite a loudmouth.
Kardashian, 41, who is training to become a lawyer in California and has been active in the criminal justice reform movement, this week took to social media to call for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ mandatory minimum sentence of 110 years in prison to be reduced over the April 2019 crash in which his brakes failed and he plowed into stalled traffic, killing four people.
But not everyone thinks that the former Keeping Up With The Kardashians star – who passed her baby bar exam on the fourth attempt- should wade into this thorny legal matter.
Kathleen Harrison, who lost her husband of 26 years, Doyle Harrison, in the collision, had some harsh words for the glamorous influencer.
‘I don’t think that we want our local proceedings in any state taken over by who has the loudest mouth out there, because people don’t know all the details, they are running on emotion,’ said the mom-of-three widow, referring to Kardashian.
Kathleen, who delivered an emotional testimony during Aguilera-Mederos’ trial, says she believes the driver deserves a sentence of 20 years in prison for committing a series of missteps that resulted in the deadly crash.
The sentence sparked widespread shock and fury, prompting more than 4.8million people to sign a petition on Change.org calling on Colorado Gov Jared Polis to commute Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence to time served, or grant him clemency.
Kardashian, who has close to 380million followers across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, earlier this week threw her support behind the convicted driver, tweeting: ‘Colorado law really has to be changed and this is so unfair. @GovofCO is a really good person and I know he will do the right thing.’
Rogel’s attorney, Leonard Martinez, told TMZ that he and his client are aware of Kardashian’s support, and are grateful that the celebrity has used her considerable clout to speak out in Aguilera-Mederos’ defense.
Aguilera-Mederos, 26, a Cuban immigrant, was transporting timber in the mountainous western state of Colorado in April 2019 when his brakes stopped working on a downhill stretch and he failed to use an emergency exit ramp.
Instead, the truck slammed into stalled traffic, causing a fiery 28-car pileup that killed four people and injured six others.
Prosecutors argued he should have used a runaway ramp designed for such situations. Aguilera-Mederos, for his part, said he was struggling to avoid traffic and trying to shift to slow down.
Aguilera-Mederos was found guilty by a jury on 27 counts including multiple vehicular homicides, and last week a judge handed down the 110-year sentence, which he said was the mandatory minimum under Colorado law, which requires a defendant to serve consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences.
At his December 13 sentencing, Aguilera-Mederos sobbed in court as he apologized to the victims´ families.
‘I am not a murderer. I am not a killer. When I look at my charges, we are talking about a murderer, which is not me,’ he said. ‘I have never thought about hurting anybody in my entire life.’
The chain-reaction crash killed Harrison, 61, a married dad-of-three at a longtime Jefferson County worker; 24-year-old Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano; 67-year-old William Bailey and 69-year-old Stanley Politano. Relatives of victims supported at least some prison time at his sentencing hearing.
District Court Judge Bruce Jones explained that mandatory minimum sentencing laws required consecutive sentences on 27 counts of vehicular assault, assault, reckless driving and other charges.
‘I will state that if I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,’ the judge said.