Convicted felon skips prison due to clerical error

UPDATE: A judge ruled May 5 that Anderson be freed from jail and not serve a prison sentence.

Original column:

“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime,” said actor Robert Blake in his popular “Beretta” TV series.

Blake was later charged with murdering his wife, but was acquitted and avoided doing any time.

A Missouri man convicted in the armed robbery a Burger King and sentenced to 13 years didn’t go to prison either, thanks to a clerical error, reports Today.com.

The prison system realized its mistake only as they prepared to release the prisoner they never had.

Cornealious “Mike” Anderson was convicted in 1999 but was released and told Missouri’s Department of Corrections would tell him when to voluntarily report to prison.

Corrections never got around to doing that.

Anderson said he waited a long time and never left the St. Louis area, but eventually just started living his life like many other people.

NBC said Anderson “got married, had children, opened a successful business, coached youth football and joined a church group.”

That life came to a crashing halt last summer when “a SWAT team descended on Anderson’s house and dragged him off to jail,” writes The New York Daily News.

Anderson is once again awaiting word on what happens next.

The Missouri attorney general said Tuesday he will let Anderson go free if Anderson sues the state for its mistake.

Anderson’s attorney says the nine months his client has spent in jail amount to “cruel and unusual punishment.”

An online petition demanding Anderson’s release has the signatures of at least 14,000 people.

The Burger King manager said his daughter read a local newspaper’s article about Anderson to her high school class without realizing her father was the man Anderson robbed. When she told her dad about the interesting news article he told her the state “dropped the ball” and Anderson should remain a free man.

Then he told his daughter he was the robbery victim.

“Our government screwed up. Who’s paying for that? Does [Anderson] have to pay for that again? Doesn’t seem right,” said the former Burger King manager.

I may have missed something, but when did Anderson pay for his crime the first time?

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18 comments Add your comment

POAD2013

April 16th, 2014
10:29 am

Sounds like the criminal got a Politician’s or Banker’s type prison sentence.

scrappy-22

April 16th, 2014
10:33 am

No, he didn’t pay for the crime the first time, but he is rehabilitated. (not that that is what prisons actually do) He will be a better part of society as a father to his kids than punishment for a crime committed 13 years ago. If the “justice” system really thinks he still needs punishment, community service or weekend confinements would be better.

The Geezer

April 16th, 2014
10:34 am

I remember the old joke when I was a kid about how the Burger King dated the Dairy Queen and bragged about his Whopper. She got a little Frosty.

Bumper

April 16th, 2014
11:00 am

An appropriate punishment at this late date would be to require him to eat at least one meal a day for 30 days at BK. Then again that might be considered cruel and unusual.

Jane

April 16th, 2014
11:52 am

Maybe “Anderson” is an illegal alien? They likewise don’t pay for their crime, and get lots of taxpayer funded goodies to boot.

...And Justice For All

April 16th, 2014
12:03 pm

“Our government screwed up. Who’s paying for that? Does [Anderson] have to pay for that again? Doesn’t seem right,” said the former Burger King manager.

“I may have missed something, but when did Anderson pay for his crime the first time?”

He did not –and it’s not his fault.

I agree with the victim – the state messed – up they should have caught the error long ago.

I mean – this guy robbed someone – do you expect someone like that to instantly turn honest. I mean really – to step forward and tell the authorities, “Hey Hey I am supposed to be in jail.” “You guys messed up and I am turning myself in to serve my time.”

:)

LOL

Yeah right…..

Mr. Anderson, this one is on us.

There is some irony in all of this… I mean if the state messed up and locked Mr. Anderson up for several years for a crime (it was determined later) he never committed – then the state would have to “pay” Mr. Anderson.

But then again – it was through no vault of his own that he remained free for all those years.

Way to go………………..

...And Justice For All

April 16th, 2014
12:08 pm

Whatever happened to the clerk that made the original mistake?

Was he or she fired or promoted?

LOL

What steps did the state create in order for this not to happen again.

CRAZY………………

...And Justice For All

April 16th, 2014
12:15 pm

That life came to a crashing halt last summer when “a SWAT team descended on Anderson’s house and dragged him off to jail,” writes The New York Daily News.

Anderson is once again awaiting word on what happens next.

The Missouri attorney general said Tuesday he will let Anderson go free if Anderson sues the state for its mistake.

Anderson’s attorney says the nine months his client has spent in jail amount to “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Ok,

I did not read the entire article.

I believe Mr. Anderson will have a case – and – the state should have never arrested him after they realized their mistake.

So not only did this guy not have to do his entire time for his crime he is ABOUT TO GET PAID………….

CRAZY AND DERANGED………………

Dez

April 16th, 2014
12:30 pm

Nonsense. I’m not sure what should happen to him.

coj

April 16th, 2014
12:57 pm

Community service seems to be the right way to go. He did commit a crime and deserves some form of punishment but jail time is just not appropriate since the man rehabilitated himself and is a credit to his community.

Bill Clinton

April 16th, 2014
1:46 pm

I did not have sex with that woman.

joe

April 16th, 2014
3:32 pm

Government screwing up? Say it isn’t so…surely there is a statute of limitations that come into play here No brainer, lawsuit.

hockey goalie

April 16th, 2014
4:09 pm

The UNICEF video is hysterical!

GREAT catch George.

Hidden Agenda

April 16th, 2014
4:32 pm

This is the fundamental problem of a “justice” system based on retribution (making the DA, the government, etc. feel better) versus one based on restitution (making the victim whole or as whole as possible again). This man robbed people at gunpoint or similar. There was a REAL property crime as well as a physical assault, emotional damage, life endangerment, etc. There are REAL costs associated with reimbursing the victims for both their monetary loss but their suffering. That is ALL that should have been addressed. Victimizing the victims again by forcing them to pay for this person’s room and board in order to feed the profits of the prison-industrial complex and pay the salaries of every government, etc. employee associated with this system does the victims absolutely NO good. We need a fundamental change in our system of “justice.” That is not to say that one would never be forced to give up one’s liberty and freedom, but the sentence would be tied to paying one’s real cost (repaying the victim in other words), rather than simply having to serve some arbitrary term in a cage to make everyone else feel better.

Mitzymy

April 16th, 2014
5:30 pm

Let the man go. Jails and prisons are too full now of needless people.. Corrections Corporations are making a ton on money from locking up drug criminals who should be out on our highways cleaning up.

Beretta

April 16th, 2014
6:01 pm

“If you can’t do the time, don’t go, they probably forgot about you. When they finally remember they’ll send SWAT to lock you up just so the State Attorney General can announce that he won’t fight a legal suit to let you go. Then leave after you fill out the proper paper work.”

Yeah, that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Glenn

April 16th, 2014
8:03 pm

This is a really tough question. In reality, the guy did exactly what they told him to do; he waited until they told him to report; it wasn’t his fault the call never came. He never tried to flee or change his name; he rehabilitated himself; something the system is supposed to do.

Prisons are overcrowded and oftentimes don’t succeed in doing what he was able to accomplish on his own; they become more violent criminals. Maybe the fear of being hauled in at any time was enough to keep him on the straight and narrow; maybe that’s a blueprint that can be looked at for others?

Clayton

April 17th, 2014
8:24 am

I’m sorry. Maybe as a black man I am supposed to be supportive of this guy and say, “hey, he’s proven that he’s no longer a menace…” or “he’s a family man now, why tear him apart from his children?”
However, the fact still remains that a crime was committed, that was never punished for. I am a firm believer in justice, doing what’s right and accepting responsibility for your actions, no matter how little, no matter how long ago. If you did wrong to someone and was proven guilty, then you get punished. Congratulations for your thirteen year break, glad you led a good life after the fact. Now man the f*ck up and take your punishment at the very least for the psychological trauma you caused your victim. Sorry, but I just don’t feel too sorry for him.