DENVER (CBS4) – Jason Kasperek remembers being robbed by Rene Lima-Marin and Michael Clifton like it was yesterday.
“[Clifton] put the gun to my head and cocked the gun,” Kasperek said of the 1998 robbery. “I still have nightmares about it.”
Lima-Marin was sentenced to 98 years in prison and was mistakenly released early, then put back in prison a six years later. He was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the same day his family expected him to come home.
Lima-Marin came to the U.S. from Cuba as a toddler. He never applied for citizenship, but U.S. relations with Cuba allowed him to stay. That continued until Lima-Marin was convicted of armed robbery and flagged for deportation in 2000.
“He never even got his citizenship,” Kasperek said. “He had so much of an opportunity to get it. I’m sorry, [but] your opportunities are over because now they caught up with you.”
Kasperek says Gov. John Hickenlooper never contacted him before making the decision to pardon Lima-Marin.
“All of the victims involved in this, their families are just as much of a victim as we are,” Kasperek said. “It hurts everybody.”
Including Lima-Marin’s kids.
“They are going to be the ones who are going to be the most affected by this,” Kasperek said.
Kasperek worries Hickenlooper has given Lima-Marin the second chance he doesn’t deserve.
“What scares me is knowing that our justice system would let that happen,” Kasperek said. “I just want [Hickenlooper] to know that the victim’s voice does matter.”