Court mistake sets man free, but he’s been sent back for 90 years after turning life around

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AURORA, Colo. — A Colorado man who turned his life around after a court error set him free from prison for six years has now been put back behind bars, sentenced to 90 years.

According to FOX31 in Denver, Rene Lima-Marin was 19 years old when he robbed two video stores at gunpoint. Lima-Marin served 10 years for the crimes and was released.

After his release, he married, had a child and turned his life around. He even bought a house with a white-picket fence.


Rene Lima-Marin from

But the release was later found out to be wrong. A court order mistakenly stated Lima-Marin should serve his sentence all at once instead of consecutively. Lima-Marin’s lawyer was wrong too, telling him when he went into jail that he would only serve 15 years.

Courts summoned Rene Lima-Marin back, and on January 7 declared he finish his original, which means to 90 more years behind bars.

Lima-Marin told KDVR he served his time, and that 90 more years for two robberies as a 19-year-old where no one was hurt is too much.

“People have raped, molested kids, taken lives and 15, 20, 25 years. And I made a mistake and tried to steal some money and I am given my entire life in prison? It just doesn’t make sense,” he says.

His family has set up an online petition to help generate support for his immediate release.

They’re also accepting any donations to help pay for a lawyer that has accepted the case.

To learn more about this story, click here or watch the video above.

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  • Kevin

    The court is ridiculous! He's served his time. I'd rather have my tax money spent to keep killers and rapists behind bars!!!

  • Guest Speaker

    The guy pointed a gun in the face of innocent people threatening to kill them for money!
    What if he was doing that to you?
    He is just another stupid criminal that deserves what he asked for by committing a violent crime.
    Those victims did not ask to be threatened with death by a thug!
    He hid from the truth thinking it would go away.
    Guess what it didn't!

    What goes around comes around.

    • Bob

      Yes, Guest Speaker, what goes around, comes around. But you and I are not always meant to deliver it. Just for kicks, let’s look at your suggestion as a fresh start at the life of a man whose life had been going to heII in a handbasket, but who finally understood his responsibilities, straightened up, and began that long climb to real Manhood. And made it! Now, it is your turn to start something afresh upon that same circular track. What kind of thing are You going to put into the circle for this man? And why? Because his original judge or prosecutor had belly cramps? 90 years is not a judgment for robbery, armed or otherwise. 90 years is irrational, as is sending him back to serve another day of it. He should learn how to teach others to straighten up their lives, and have a career made out of it.
      BTW; if you read my other comment, I have worked toward teaching others. It is a matter of one big and many small decisions, and answering our call to a higher way of living. All the best. But, I would think seriously about what you say and the way you say it. To quote a friend, “What goes around, comes around.” It’s a very common saying . . . in prison. And that’s not the way we want to live.

  • Bob

    O-kay, so what is the real purpose of incarceration? To massage the pomp, power, and pride of judges, police chiefs and prosecutors? If so, throw away the key! Unfortunately, the purpose of these people’s jobs is public safety, which would be better served by letting this still young man live out his life in peace.
    In my late teens, I too had some “issues” with authority. A mistaken computer entry erased all previous conflicts and gave me “White Gloves”. Though it was done in error, it was the first event that would have been intentionally done for decency and consideration if anyone had really looked at the kid with any mercy. It was the first good thing I had witnessed coming out of that place. I knew it to be a blunder, but I committed myself to respecting it by straightening up my act. Yes, to the naysayers it sounds crazy, but it was the motivator, the change for me. I kept that commitment, and learned. Without that single clumsy keystroke, I do not know where I would be this half century later, or who would have been hurt along the way. Thank You, Clerk-Typist-Data-Entry-Person, wherever you are! There are people who are alive today for that keystroke, and I salute you!
    Naysayers, you know where you can stuff your kneejerk response. Sometimes . . . it works!