A man who was arrested 13 years after being convicted has been freed.
Cornealious “Mike” Anderson spent nearly a year behind bars after officials caught a clerical error made more than a decade ago.
Mississippi County Associate Circuit Judge Terry Lynn Brown needed just a 10-minute hearing before ruling that he was giving Anderson credit for time served for all 4,794 days between his conviction and when he was arrested last year. The judge granted Anderson his immediate freedom.
Anderson, 37, left the courthouse with his wife and 3-year-old daughter on one arm, his grandmother on the other, tears in all of their eyes.
“Very happy,” Anderson said as he climbed into a sport utility vehicle for the ride home to suburban St. Louis and a planned family celebration. “My faith has always been in God. I’m just so thankful. I just thank God for everybody.”
Anderson was 23 when he was sentenced to 13 years for a fast-food robbery. Last month, he told The Associated Press that he waited, and even inquired about going to prison, but the order never came.
Since his conviction, Anderson started his own construction business, married and had children and coached youth football. He also volunteered at his church in Missouri.
Anderson’s story drew international attention last month. An online petition on Change.org garnered more than 35,000 signatures urging the state to set him free.
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