CLERICAL ERROR ALLOWS CONVICTED ARMED ROBBER TO SELF-REHABILITATE
Never told to report to prison, Cornealious ‘Mike’ Anderson remained free for 13 years during which he turned his life around and became a productive citizen and good family man
In 2000, Cornealious ‘Mike’ Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the armed robbery of a Burger King manager in St. Charles, Missouri. Out on bail, he was ordered to await word on when and to which prison he should report. Because of a clerical error, Anderson was never so notified. So, for the next 13 years he went about his life in St. Louis and made a remarkable turnaround.
Anderson got married and raised four children. He learned a trade and opened his own contractor service business. He coached his son’s football team. He became active in a church. He paid taxes and traffic tickets. He never concealed his identity or whereabouts. Anderson believed the authorities didn’t care whether he was in prison or not.
Under his prison term, Anderson was supposed to be released last year. As they were processing the paper work for his discharge, prison authorities suddenly discovered he had never been in custody.
Last July, a St. Louis SWAT team barged into his home and hauled Anderson off to jail. The 37-year-old productive citizen and good family man was quickly transferred to the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Missouri where he is awaiting an uncertain fate.
Under the circumstances it is my opinion that Anderson, even though he has been convicted of armed robbery, should be released from prison immediately. Prior to the robbery, he had only one arrest on his record, and that was for possession of marijuana. Keeping Anderson in prison would be an injustice.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon can grant Anderson a pardon, or barring that, the court should revisit the case and change his sentence to 13-years of probation, then discharge him from sentence.