By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – One man got out of prison due to a clerical error, now the freed man’s co-defendant has filed paperwork saying because of that error he should get out of prison, too.

The freed man, Rene Lima Marin, was happily raking leaves in his front yard when he met with CBS4.

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Rene Lima Marin (credit: CBS)

Not long ago he was in prison before going to an immigration detention center to be deported to Cuba then winning an appeal. He was released from his 98-year prison sentence by mistake.

Now his co-defendant Michael Clifton wants out too.

clifton michael Attorney: Manifestly Unfair Client Remains Jailed

Michael Clifton (credit: CBS)

“The crime we committed, we definitely should be punished for, but it’s not 98 years,” Lima Marin told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger.

Lima Marin carried a rifle as he and Clifton robbed two Aurora video stores in 1998.

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(credit: CBS)

Jason Kasperek was the clerk in one of those robberies that was held up.

“Do you still think about that day?” Sallinger asked Kasperek.

“Yes, every day of my life I do,” he replied.

He did not want to see Lima Marin or Clifton freed.

Kasperek recalled what Lima Marin said at the time of the robbery, “‘If I let you live what do you want to see again?’ I said ‘I just want to see my daughter and my wife.'”

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Jason Kasperek. (credit: CBS)

He recalls Clifton said to let him live.

Adam Frank, Clifton’s attorney feels since Lima Marin is out, Clifton should be too.

“It is manifestly unfair that one of them has been released and the other one is going to spend the rest of his life in prison,” Frank said.

Lima Marin had a good prison record while locked up. Clifton has gotten in trouble.

Lima Marin was asked if Clifton should benefit from the mistake that gave him freedom.

“I don’t consider it a benefit. It’s what is supposed to happen. He shouldn’t be serving 98 years,” Lima Marin said.

lima marin sidekick 5pkg transfer frame 2049 Attorney: Manifestly Unfair Client Remains Jailed

(credit: CBS)

But Kasperek says he is still serving time in his mind thinking about that day 20 years ago.

“Lima Marin and Michael Clifton want everything you know? I’m sorry. I’m one of the victims. This is a life sentence for me,” he said.

The Clifton case has been assigned to the same Arapahoe District Courtroom and same judge who previously ruled that after the mistaken release Lima Marin should remain free.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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