Man Who Was Given 13-Year Sentence Never Went To Jail After Cops Forget To Put Him In Prison

By maks in News On 9th June 2024

After someone is sentenced to time in prison, they are usually taken directly to serve their term.

However, that wasn't what happened in the case of one man who, despite being sentenced to 13 years, was never actually placed behind bars.

The story of Cornealious Anderson is quite astonishing, resembling something out of a movie like "Shawshank Redemption."

In 1999, this Missouri man was found guilty of an armed robbery where he held up a Burger King manager during a bank deposit.

The Missouri man was sentenced to 13 years behind bars. Getty Stock Photo

Following his conviction, Anderson posted bail and filed an appeal against his sentence, which was eventually rejected.

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During this time, remarkably, no one came to take him to prison.

It appeared as though Anderson had slipped through the cracks, and he proceeded to lead a normal life, integrating into his community, starting a small business, getting married, and fathering four children.

He also coached youth football and maintained a commendable lifestyle, never attempting to hide who he was.

Meanwhile, his original lawyer and almost everyone else involved in his case believed he was already in prison.

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Eventually, the Missouri Department of Corrections realized due to a clerical error, Anderson had never been incarcerated.

Anderson had enjoyed what seemed like a fulfilling 13 years, equivalent to his initial sentence.

However, in 2013, his situation took a dramatic turn when a SWAT team showed up at his home to arrest him.

Describing the experience to Jessica Lussenhop for NPR's This American Life, Anderson recounted:

Cops simply forgot about Cornealious Anderson. News4

"I was sleeping. I was awoken. It was about 6 o'clock in the morning, woken by knocking at the door. And it was unusual knocking.

"It was the consistent knocking-- you know, the hard knocking. So I knew something-- what is going on? So I just stood at the top of the stairs for a moment. 

"And finally I said, who is it? I'm in my boxers. And they said, marshals. Open it up or it's coming down. Opened up the door. As soon as I opened up the door, it was a small army. 

"I mean, it was about eight of them. They had the shields. They had the helmets. They had the AR-15 style machine-looking guns. And they had the street blocked off. 

"And I said, hey man, you got the wrong person. And he just looked at me. He said, 'no, you're the right person'."

Anderson was then taken to prison, but after nine months, he was released following a court's decision. 

The judge, Terry Lynn Brown, noted that Anderson's conduct over the past 13 years had shown he was a 'changed man'.