AF­TER 36 YEARS IN JAIL FOR TOOL THEFT, MIS­READ FILES RE­SULT IN 6 MORE MONTHS BE­HIND BARS

National Post (Latest Edition) - - WORLD -

TAL­LA­HAS­SEE, FLA. If all went well, a man who has spent 36 years in prison for steal­ing his own tools would have been paroled Wed­nes­day.

In­stead, Mark DeFri­est must spend at least six more months in prison to pre­pare for free­dom.

DeFri­est was just a teenager when he stole the me­chan­ics tools his father had be­queathed him be­fore the will was read. His bur­glary con­vic­tion re­sulted in a vir­tual life sen­tence af­ter re­peated prison es­capes.

Florida’s pa­role com­mis­sion gave him a break in 2014, and or­dered him paroled once he com­pletes pre­re­lease pro­grams. It even had him trans­ferred to Ore­gon to be close to his wife. But Ore­gon prison of­fi­cials mis­read his file and clas­si­fied him as a lifer, in­el­i­gi­ble for re­lease.

DeFri­est’s lawyers urged him to re­main pa­tient.

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