U.S. News


Man Freed After Clerical Error Caused 13-Year Sentence Delay

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson went to prison last year for a crime he was convicted of in 2000, but he's now been freed after turning his life around.
Posted at 4:33 PM, May 05, 2014

A Missouri man was imprisoned last year when officials realized he'd never actually served the 13-year sentence he'd been handed 14 years ago. But now he's officially a free man in the eyes of the law. 

See, in April, we reported Cornealious "Mike" Anderson initially stayed out of prison because of a clerical error. He says he spent the 13 years between sentencing and imprisonment setting his life straight, and his lawyers argued he doesn't deserve punishment now for a crime committed before that rehabilitation.

A Change.org petition received almost 36,000 signers in support of releasing Anderson, who the petition claims was "ripped from his home" without warning.

And Monday, according to NBC, a judge agreed — saying Anderson has "been a good father ... been a good husband ... been a good taxpaying citizen of the state of Missouri."

Anderson was convicted for a 1999 armed robbery incident. After his appeals were denied, he had even tried to turn himself in. But because of a clerical error, he never went to prison until officials realized that error last July.

He was 23 then. Since then, he's gotten married and started a family, opened a construction business, become a youth football coach and volunteered at his church in Webster Groves. (Via KMOV)

ANDERSON: "It's been tough for my family. ... Just so thankful, thank God for everything." (Via KSDK)

After the decision, Anderson walked out of the courtroom with his wife, 3-year-old daughter and grandmother. (Via KFVS)

According to the Riverfront Times, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the decision "appears to appropriately balance the facts as we understand them."

The victim of the armed robbery for which Anderson was convicted said he agrees with the logic behind the release. According to Anderson's attorney, a clerical mistake like this hasn't happened in Missouri since 1912.