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Convicted of armed heist but he walked free for 13 years

IN PLAIN SIGHT: His lawyer said Anderson never hid from the law and that the Missouri prison authorities should take responsibility for their mistake in not getting him to serve his jail sentence earlier.


    Apr 22, 2014

    Convicted of armed heist but he walked free for 13 years


    THIRTEEN years after being convicted of armed robbery, Cornealious Anderson was still a free man because of an administrative error.

    Out on bail pending an appeal then, he was never told to report to serve his jail term and prison officials never noticed the mistake.

    In that time, the 37-year-old from Missouri got married, had four children and started a small business. He never made any attempt to hide his whereabouts.

    The mistake was discovered only when the time came to release him, 13 years later, reports said.

    Last July, as he was serving his daughter breakfast, a Swat team knocked on his door and arrested him.

    Now, his lawyer is arguing that the state was at fault for not imprisoning him after the initial conviction, and should let him go free.

    "The state consented to Anderson's bail pending appeal, for them to turn around and say 'we didn't know' is completely wrong," his lawyer, Mr Patrick Megaro, told US News. "They take no responsibility for the fact that, for 13 years, the Missouri Department of Corrections had a file on Cornealious Anderson as a prisoner and nobody picked it up or even bothered to look at it until July 2013."

    He robbed a Burger King employee with another man when he was in his 20s.

    His victim said he hopes Anderson will be freed.

    The victim, identified only as Dennis, said: "He seemed to have gotten his life together... the law dropped the ball. The law ought to drop it completely."