© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mo. Man Whose Prison Term Was Delayed By Clerical Error Is Free Again

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson walks out of the Missouri County Courthouse along with his wife, LaQonna Anderson, their daughter Nevaeh, 3, and his attorney Patrick Megaro on Monday in Charleston, Mo.
Jeff Roberson

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson is a free man once again.

Back in 2000, the Missouri resident was sentenced to 13 years in prison for holding up a man with a gun. Anderson was 23 at the time and was told to await orders on when to show up to prison.

Thirteen years went by and he never received notice. According to the AP, in the meantime, Anderson started a construction business, got married, had children and volunteered at his church near St. Louis.

Then in 2013, the state noticed the clerical error and summoned him to jail. Today, after 10 months behind bars, a judge gave him back his freedom.

The AP reports:

"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."

In a statement, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he was pleased with the outcome.

"From the outset, I have proposed a solution that balances the seriousness of Mr. Anderson's crime with the mistake made by the criminal justice system and Mr. Anderson's lack of a criminal record over the past 13 years," Koster said. "Today's outcome appears to appropriately balance the facts as we understand them."

Update at 2:08 p.m. ET. Mike Anderson On This American Life:

A sharp reader points out that Mike Anderson's story was featured on This American Life. His story begins at the 32-minute mark.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: May 26, 2014 at 11:00 PM CDT
A previous caption incorrectly identified the Missouri County Courthouse as the Mississippi County Courthouse.
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.