CRIME

Colorado inmate released 90 years early asks to remain free

  • FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2014, file photo, Jasmine Lima-Marin speaks during a gathering of faith leaders and supporters at a vigil in front of the Governor's Mansion in Denver. Lima-Marin's husband, Rene, is asking a judge on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, to be released from prison after creating a new life in the several years he was free by a clerical error that allowed him to be paroled in 2008. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2014, file photo, Jasmine Lima-Marin speaks during a gathering of faith leaders and supporters at a vigil in front of the Governor's Mansion in Denver. Lima-Marin's husband, Rene, is asking a judge on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, to be released from prison after creating a new life in the several years he was free by a clerical error that allowed him to be paroled in 2008. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 7, 2014, file photo, Rene Lima-Marin sits for an interview with The Associated Press about the circumstances of his sentencing and incarceration in a meeting room inside Kit Carson Correctional Center, a privately operated prison in Burlington, Colo. Lima-Marin, who was sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early, says it was cruel and unusual punishment to put him back behind bars after he reformed his life. A judge is considering on Wednesday, Dec. 21, whether to free Lima-Marin who is arguing that it would be unfair to keep him behind bars after he started a family and held a steady job after his accidental release in 2008. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

    FILE - In this May 7, 2014, file photo, Rene Lima-Marin sits for an interview with The Associated Press about the circumstances of his sentencing and incarceration in a meeting room inside Kit Carson Correctional Center, a privately operated prison in Burlington, Colo. Lima-Marin, who was sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early, says it was cruel and unusual punishment to put him back behind bars after he reformed his life. A judge is considering on Wednesday, Dec. 21, whether to free Lima-Marin who is arguing that it would be unfair to keep him behind bars after he started a family and held a steady job after his accidental release in 2008. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)  (The Associated Press)

A convicted Colorado robber who was sent back to prison after being mistakenly released decades before serving 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.

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.

Lima-Marin was released on parole in 2008. He held a steady job as a window glazer, got married and had a son before authorities realized the mistake in January 2014, when a team of police officers returned him to prison to complete his sentence.

First Assistant Attorney General James Quinn said the case was an unfortunate mistake but not official misconduct, as Lima-Marin's attorneys allege.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. did not immediately decide whether Lima-Marin should be released, saying he needed time to do more legal research. He got the case after Colorado's highest court refused to free Lima-Marin earlier this year, saying he should ask a lower court to consider his release instead.

Lima-Marin fought back tears as he told the judge he's experiencing severe emotional pain because of his separation from his wife, their son and her other son that he adopted.

"I'm supposed to be the head of the household, the person who's supposed to guide and lead them ... and I've been taken away from them," he said. "I was stupid, and a dumb kid who made a mistake."

But prosecutors said Lima-Marin should not be freed because knew about the clerk's error and never notified authorities as he set about rebuilding his life.