A convicted Colorado robber who was sent back to prison after being mistakenly released decades before serving out his 98-year sentence asked a judge Wednesday to set him free again, arguing it would be unfair for him to remain imprisoned after he started a family, got a steady job, and reformed himself, the AP reports. Rene Lima-Marin, 38, was convicted in 2000 on multiple counts of robbery, kidnapping, and burglary after he and another man robbed two suburban Denver video stores at gunpoint. A judge issued him back-to-back sentences for a total of 98 years. But a court clerk mistakenly wrote in Lima-Marin's file that the sentences were to run at the same time. Corrections officials depend on that file to determine how much time an inmate should serve, and Lima-Marin was erroneously released on parole in 2008.
He held a steady job as a window glazer, got married, and had a son before the error was found in January 2014, when cops returned him to prison to complete his sentence. Lima-Marin fought back tears as he told Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. he's experiencing severe emotional pain because of his separation from his wife, her son whom he adopted, and the son they had together during his freedom. "I'm supposed to be the ... person who's supposed to guide and lead them ... and I've been taken away from them," he said. But prosecutors said Lima-Marin shouldn't be freed because he knew about the clerk's error and never notified authorities. Lima-Marin's co-defendant, Michael Clifton, also would have been mistakenly released early, but the error in his file was uncovered after he filed an appeal in his case; Clifton is serving 98 years in prison. Samour Jr. didn't immediately decide whether Lima-Marin should be released, saying he needed time to do more legal research. (Read more Colorado stories.)