Typo releases inmate hours after conviction

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by Chris Patterson

NEW ORLEANS -- A typo leads to the release of a New Orleans inmate hours after his girlfriend testified against him. The sheriff's department says typo or not, the inmate's release was legal.

30-year-old Isaiah Spencer was convicted of Second Degree Battery and False Imprisonment after beating up his girlfriend so badly she had to have her spleen removed. Court documents say Spencer's girlfriend didn't want to have sex with him. Spencer punched her on her side, kicked her in the same spot, and stepped on her back. Spencer took his girlfriend's phone so she couldn't call 911, forcing her to wait until the next day to get medical help.

A clerical error changed his sentence from 33 months to three months. Spencer got credit for time served, and was released hours after his girlfriend took the stand against him. "She thinks she's gonna be safe for 33 months," says Mary Claire Landry with the Family Justice Center. "She agreed to that, you know. She was in the court for that, and you know, to than have that be mistaken."

WWL reports Spencer gave his girlfriend a black eye, and tried to choke her during their three month relationship. A judge signed a protective order to keep Spencer away from his girlfriend, a move that little consolation until he's back behind bars.