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A Missouri man who was convicted in 2000 of armed robbery and never started his sentence until last July has begun receiving an overwhelming amount of public support.
Yahoo! News reports Cornealious “Mike” Anderson has lived a law-abiding life since he held up a restaurant manager in St. Louis 13 years ago.
Anderson, 37, originally received a 13-year sentence, having never been convicted of a serious crime prior, and he was told to wait for instructions on when and where to report to prison.
The only issue was he never heard back from authorities due to a clerical error.
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, outside St. Louis, and ran the video operation at his church.
Anderson’s prison sentence was supposed to end last July, but that’s when the Missouri Department of Corrections noticed he never reported to jail.
So armed officers arrived at his house that month, arrested him and took one of his young daughters into custody. He was in a state prison in Fulton before noon that day.
Attorney General Chris Koster said Thursday 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 …
Jaime Halscott, another of Anderson’s attorneys, said Gov. Jay Nixon’s office has also been asked to consider commuting the sentence or pardoning Anderson.
As the story of his delayed incarceration hit the press this week, Anderson has been cheered by inmates and guards at the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, an online petition urging his release has collected roughly 30,000 signatures and his attorney has received several calls of support from the public.