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Man to serve sentence after clerical error let him walk for 13 years

Man to Serve Sentence After Clerical Error Let Him Walk for 13 Years

Missouri courts were in for a surprise when they tried to release a man from prison ... only to find he'd never been there in the first place.


CBS reporter Dean Reynolds sat down with Cornealious "Mike" Anderson in Charleston, Missouri. Anderson was convicted of robbery and armed criminal action, but after being released on bail, he was never sent back to prison.

"CBS This Morning" said if Anderson hadn't been overlooked due to a clerical error, he'd have gone to prison in 2002 and would have finished his sentence last summer. But courts are saying Anderson still needs to serve his 13-year sentence.

'It's very difficult for me to say we can create an exception.'

If Anderson has to serve the complete sentence, he might not be free until 2026. Anderson says he has reformed his lifestyle since he committed the crime when he was 22.

The Riverfront Times, which broke Anderson's story in 2013, says Anderson now has a family, is considered an ideal father, coaches football and goes to church.

According to Alternet, Anderson's lawyer says: 'This is the type of person you want in the community. This is not the type of person you want to segregate from the community.'

And it's not like Anderson was a particularly difficult person to find. The Riverfront Times says he was possibly the worst fugitive of all time.

'He didn't change his name. He didn't leave town. In fact, his address is just two blocks away from the last one the court system had for him.'

Anderson even had his contracting business registered with the secretary of state. So what does he have to say about the possibility of going to prison?

'I'm a man of faith and I believe my chances are in the hands of God. I have to believe that, I can't believe anything else.'

CBS says even the man Anderson robbed doesn't believe Anderson deserves to serve the sentence. The state attorney general has until next week to respond, and a court could schedule a hearing next month.

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craftyframer April 13 2014 at 12:15 PM

I would hope that the judge can see that it would serve no purpose to send this man to prison. He rehabilitated himself....the prison system would not have done this. I agree, give him community service. Good luck Mr. Anderson....

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Scan 24C April 13 2014 at 11:07 AM

Let this man continue to be free and allow him to do community service working with our youth group and give them a heads up example of how one can turn their life around for the good of his family, friends and community! God Speed!

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1 reply
Sherman McDade Scan 24C April 13 2014 at 11:35 AM

I think an unconditional pardon would not be completely out of line.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
batflapper April 13 2014 at 11:06 AM

Give the man probation time served. He is a new person. He does not need jail. American courts are jail happy. We have more peple in jail than any country in the WORLD.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
trillian79 April 13 2014 at 11:04 AM

One more thing, if the state made the error let the state bear the consequences of its error and don't make a man who is now totally fine with the world live the life he has built. Frankly, I've come across politicians who belong behind bars for a century or so, but they pull strings and get off with a minor charge, pay a fee and live happily ever after. Let the man return to his family. It was the state's fault, let the state bear the brunt of its own carelessness. It might be nice if once in a while the state takes responsibility for its own ineptitudes.

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1 reply
Sherman McDade trillian79 April 13 2014 at 11:36 AM

Well said

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Itohseloh April 13 2014 at 11:02 AM

He did his time waiting for the courts. The courts screwed up.
Debt to society = 0

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Kathi April 13 2014 at 11:02 AM

I say let him stay free. If he had been 'on the lam' intentionally, hiding out, avoiding going to jail, that would be different. it was the courts' error and he should not now have to pay for that especially given the situation he is now. have him speak to high school kids and maybe to criminals about the good cleaning your life up does. that would serve everything about the situation better. Unique situatiaon - deserves a unique resolution.

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Julie April 13 2014 at 11:01 AM

Oh my gosh. This is actually what we want. We want punishment, this time the thought of punishment to change someone's attitude so they can change their own life. Do not take this man from his family AND do not allow the make the taxpayers pay for his life behind bars. It's stubbornness to the nth degree.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Yakytiyak April 13 2014 at 11:00 AM

If he became the man society wanted him to be then we are better off. He will not improve by going to prison. "Clerical error" He's a man of faith maybe it was devine intervention. Seems like there are things that can be done since the county screwed up, rather than destroy this family. If even the victim is on this guy's side maybe there should be some other options.

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dfoster April 13 2014 at 11:00 AM

What purpose would this serve? Prison is hopefully about rehab. and avoiding repetition. Putting him back would only be vengeance (and expensive). Hopefully, someone in charge has a heart (and a brain).

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Michelle CD April 13 2014 at 10:59 AM

Once again it is proven our justice system isn't by any means perfect. So one time criminal was over looked, and he has been out among the population, working hard, growing a family, even getting into coaching children's in sports, as well as becoming a church going family. So, during those 13 years he should have been in prison, he has improved himself, turned himself around and has become a model citizen in the community. Has not been in any more trouble, so why get all over his case now, for a justice department mistake? If anything, this is a man that should be given a pardon!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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