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'You are good. And changed': Judge FREES man who was jailed 13-years late because of a clerical error - by which time he'd become a decent, upstanding family man

A Missouri judge ordered the state of Missouri on Monday to set free Cornealious Anderson who was convicted of robbery in 2000 but never sent to prison

  • Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2000 after he robbed from a fast-food restaurant
  • He waited for a summons to report to prison but never received one 
  • Anderson went on to get married, have children and start a construction business 
  • Last year, when authorities realized the clerical error, eight U.S. marshals showed up at his house in a middle-class neighborhood to arrest him
  • But on Monday, a Missouri judge ordered him free citing his 'exemplary' behavior in the 13 years since his conviction 

A Missouri judge ordered the state on Monday to set free a man who was convicted of robbery in 2000 but never sent to prison until a clerical mistake was discovered last year.

Cornealious 'Mike' Anderson was 23 when he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in the robbery of a fast-food restaurant's assistant manager. He told The Associated Press last month that he waited, and even asked about going to prison, but the order never came.

In the years since his conviction, Anderson started his own construction-related businesses, married and had children. He also coached youth football and volunteered at his church in Webster Groves, Missouri.

A free man: A judge ordered Cornealious Anderson (left) out of jail today. He was arrested last year when it was discovered he was never sent to prison for a robbery conviction in a clerical mistake. Pictured above with wife LaQonna and daughter Nevaeh, 3, after his release today

A free man: A judge ordered Cornealious Anderson (left) out of jail today. He was arrested last year when it was discovered he was never sent to prison for a robbery conviction in a clerical mistake. Pictured above with wife LaQonna and daughter Nevaeh, 3, after his release today

Family man: When summons never came to report for jail, Anderson went on to live a life dedicated to his family. Pictured above leaving court Monday morning

Family man: When summons never came to report for jail, Anderson went on to live a life dedicated to his family. Pictured above leaving court Monday morning

Reunion: Anderson embraces his grandmother Mary Porter after being released from custody on Monday
Reunion: Anderson embraces his grandmother Mary Porter after being released from custody on Monday

Reunion: Anderson embraces his grandmother Mary Porter after being released from custody on Monday 

Nightmare over: Anderson, his grandmother (left), wife LaQonna (right) and daughter Nevaeh walk down the stairs and out of court today

Nightmare over: Anderson, his grandmother (left), wife LaQonna (right) and daughter Nevaeh walk down the stairs and out of court today

Judge Terry Lynn Brown lauded Anderson's 'exemplary' behavior during his 13 years of freedom before the arrest. "You've been a good father. You've been a good husband. You've been a good taxpaying citizen of the state of Missouri.

'That leads me to believe that you are a good man and a changed man.'

As the judge announced his decision, about 10 of Anderson's relatives broke out in sobs and cried. Anderson stared straight ahead but dabbed tears from his eyes. Afterward, he hugged his toddler daughter tight. The hearing lasted about 10 minutes.

The judge said rather than Anderson being granted parole, he would get credit for the 4,794 days between when he was convicted and when he was arrested last year.

Mistake: If he served his full sentence, Anderson would have been released last July. That's when authorities realized the clerical error and brought him to prison

Mistake: If he served his full sentence, Anderson would have been released last July. That's when authorities realized the clerical error and brought him to prison

Anderson's plight drew international headlines last month. An online petition on change.org includes more than 35,000 signatures urging the state to set him free. Even Attorney General Chris Koster seemed inclined to find a solution to resolve what he called a 'difficult situation.'

Anderson, 37, had never been convicted of a serious crime before the robbery. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the holdup, then told to wait for orders that would specify when and where he was to report to prison. 

But the orders never came. Anderson suspected that his case had been overlooked and asked his former attorney what to do.

'Day by day, month by month, year by year, time passed, and they never picked me up,' he said in the interview with AP.

Changed man: In his 13 years of freedom, Anderson got married, had children, started a construction business, coached his son's youth football team and volunteered at his church

Changed man: In his 13 years of freedom, Anderson got married, had children, started a construction business, coached his son's youth football team and volunteered at his church

So Anderson went about his life, never trying to conceal his whereabouts or identity. 

He married, divorced, married again. He raised three children of his own and a stepchild, owned and operated three construction businesses. He coached his son's youth football team in Webster Groves, and he ran the video operation at his church.

In July, Anderson's sentence was supposed to end. It was then that someone at the Missouri Department of Corrections realized he had never been put behind bars. 

Eight U.S. marshals arrived one morning at his home in a middle-class neighborhood and took him away. He was in prison by noon that day, and has remained behind bars ever since.

The Missouri judge decided to free Anderson based on his life after his convicted. Pictured on the right his his wife LaQonna
The Missouri judge decided to free Anderson based on his life after his convicted. Pictured on the right his his wife LaQonna

The Missouri judge decided to free Anderson based on his life after his convicted. Pictured on the right his his wife LaQonna

Koster said last month that his goal was to suggest a way for the court to balance the seriousness of Anderson's crime with the clerical error made by the justice system and Anderson's conduct since the robbery.

'All three factors deserve recognition in resolving this difficult situation,' Koster said.

Anderson's attorneys filed an appeal in February calling his imprisonment unfair and unjust. They had also asked Gov. Jay Nixon to commute the sentence or grant clemency.

Justice: Anderson walks out of court victorious today with wife LaQonna and daughter Neveah

Justice: Anderson walks out of court victorious today with wife LaQonna and daughter Neveah



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Comment by MR. EXECUTIVE on May 13, 2014 at 11:21am

HI VISIT MR. EXECUTIVE PAGE REGARDING HOME INVADERS RAPING OUR CHILDREN LATEST ON LAFAYATTE AVENUE ACROSS STREET FROM DAYCARE CENTER AND ARE INTENTIONALLY ACTING NORMAL AS IF INCIDENT DIDN'T OCCUR.  WE ARE DOING OUR REGARDING COUET PAPETS APPREHENSION. WE CAN USE YOUR HELP INFORMING NEIGHBORS VIA EMAIL OR REFERAL THANK YOU FRIEND CITIZEN. REFERENCE PELICAN BRIEF AND PACIFIC HEIGHTS, THREE MEN AND A BABY MOVIES I HAVE WRITTEN. 

REGARDING THIER ACTS ATTACKERS USED BRASS KNUCKLESS AND STOMPED ON KNECK SEVERAL TIMES AND STRUCK LEG WITH BAT, HIT CONTINOULSY WHILE NOCONSCIOUSENESS PUNCHED AND THEN USED DENTAL APPLIANCE. ASSICIATED WITH PLUMBER GROUP AND CONSYRUCTION AND WERE FORMER HIGHSCHOOL STUDENTS THEMSELVES. U WOULD THINK BY NOW THERE GROWN UP. NOPE ITS THE CASE MAKING OUR LIVING NONECOMFORYABLE. KE.11216NY LAFAYETTE AVE. THIS AN INTERJECTION INTO MY PROFESSION AND CARREER.

Comment by vaughn mitchell on May 6, 2014 at 6:54pm

That judge did the right thing, cause if it was a racist judge, he would be  jail doing time.

Comment by Joseph A on May 6, 2014 at 5:28pm

I will tell you one thing, if this was a murder charge he would be under the prison right now.

Comment by GospelPan on May 6, 2014 at 1:37pm

This is interesting, ...the courts messed up ...the question is do you still punish a man who has clearly changed and regretted his past or do you send him to prison? If he goes to prison will he be rehabilitated or will he be more likely to commit another crime? I say what's done is done...let him live his life, obviously he's a changed man and God allows u-turns.

Comment by Ruff de Gehto Travler on May 6, 2014 at 9:05am
Once they have you that's it hell and high water to get free !!! But glad the judge had sense!!!
Comment by One Love on May 6, 2014 at 12:07am
God gave him a second chance.
Comment by Joseph A on May 5, 2014 at 11:54pm

Great decision from the Judge in this case, it could have gone either way...bad behaviors should never go unpunished, but in some ways it worked, he stayed out of trouble, became a Husband, Father, own a company and when you are a tax paying individual...BIG!!  The prisons are filled.

Comment by Big Woman on May 5, 2014 at 10:14pm
Thank God this worked out for him.
Comment by Pete on May 5, 2014 at 10:10pm
Very good I'm happy for you
Comment by israel biniam on May 5, 2014 at 9:41pm
Happy for you

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