SANTA FE (KRQE) - Lawrence Nieto, one of four men convicted of the infamous Torreón cabin murders, was mistakenly released from prison not once but twice, KRQE News 13 has learned.
Nieto was initially sentenced to four life sentences, but in 2007, after new evidence was revealed, he took a deal that cut his sentence to 39 years plus credit for time served.
But News 13 has learned his release date came 10 years early.
In 1996 Ben Anaya, 17, and his girlfriend Cassandra Sedillo were shot to death in a cabin the Manzano Mountains near Torreón in Torrance County. Her two boys, Johnny, 4, and Matthew, 3, were left to starve to death in the cabin where their bodies were found four months later.
A state Department of Corrections spokeswoman confirmed Nieto was mistakenly released on March 1 but violated his parole on April 12 and was sent back to prison.
Nieto was then released again on Aug. 3, again violated parole and went back to prison on Sept. 18.
He was set to be released again later in September, but this time a new system in place to try to prevent early releases caught the mistake.
The Corrections Department is reviewing Nieto's file to see how this could happen. For now the department says it appears Nieto's release date was calculated back to 1997 instead of 2007 when he was resentenced, a mistake of 10 years.
Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel is expected to address the situation and release a final report with more detailed findings on Wednesday.
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