JEFFERSON COUNTY (KUSA) — The truck driver accused of causing a fiery crash on Interstate 70 in April that killed four people and seriously injured several others entered a not guilty plea Thursday afternoon even though his defense attorney asked for another continuance.
The judge set a trial date of May 1, 2020, for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the Texas truck driver who faces 41 charges in connection with the April 25 crash in Lakewood, including charges for vehicular homicide, assault and attempted assault.
Rob Corry, the attorney for Aguilera-Mederos, requested a 30-day continuance, but prosecutors argued there's been plenty of time. The judge agreed and denied the request.
During a hearing on Oct. 10, prosecutors filed a motion asking a judge to hold a hearing to determine if there are conflicts of interest with the defense counsel representing Aguilera-Mederos.
The motion came following the arrest of Corry. He has been arrested four times in recent months, including an arrest involving a DUI in late September. According to the motion, prosecutors must make sure that those accused of crimes are afforded their constitutional rights, which includes the right to effective counsel.
According to Lakewood Police, Aguilera-Mederos was at the wheel of a tractor-trailer rig hauling lumber on I-70 when it barreled into a traffic backup at speeds estimated as high as 100 mph.
He said his brakes went out while coming down the highway from the mountains. Prosecutors said they have no way to prove that because his semi was destroyed in the crash.
Aguilera-Mederos posted bond and, during an August hearing, a judge granted permission for him to travel and reside outside of Colorado without a GPS monitoring device.
Family members of several victims had opposed that motion.
The crash killed four men:
- Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson
- William Bailey, 67, of Arvada
- Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24, of Denver
- Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada
Ten other people were hurt in the wreck, and two of them had serious injuries.
At the time of the crash, Aguilera-Mederos was working for Castellano 03 Trucking LLC, based in Houston. The trucking company has a documented history of safety issues, including prior problems relating to brakes.