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A Missouri man is waiting to hear whether or not he will have to serve time for a crime he was convicted of in 2000.
St. Louis resident Cornealious "Mike" Anderson was convicted of the armed robbery of a Burger King manager and was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He posted bail, went home and waited for authorities to contact him to let him know where to report to begin his sentence.
The call never came. Meanwhile Anderson moved on with his life. He got married, had four kids, joined a church, stayed out of trouble with the law and started a contracting business. He continued living in the St. Louis area.
Last summer state prison officials started processing the paperwork for Anderson's release when they realized he wasn't incarcerated.
A team of Swat members were sent to Anderson's home and took him into custody.
Cornealious "Mike" Anderson
Anderson and his wife, LaQonna, are hoping by some miracle the Attorney General decides not to make him serve the time he was originally sentenced to.
LaQonna Anderson wants her husband freed
"I'm hoping that there is a way for them to save face while still allowing him to stay free," Patrick Michael Megaro, Anderson's attorney, told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. "He's no legal expert. He relied on his lawyer. This man is not a fugitive. He didn't try to hide."
An online petition has been started at change.org in the hopes Anderson will be freed. So far it has gathered more than 18,742 signatures.
Should Anderson still have to spend 13 years in prison?
**UPDATE** May 6
Cornealious (Mike) Anderson walks out of the Mississippi County Courthouse along with his wife, daughter Nevaeh, 3, and grandmother.
Cornealious "Mike" Anderson had been sitting in a maximum security Missouri prison cell since last summer hoping that the justice system would realize that he'd become a changed man since his armed robbery conviction 13 years ago.
Anderson was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 13-years in prison, but a clerical error left him a free man until the state discovered the error and arrested him.
The St. Louis resident had gotten married, stayed out of trouble and had four kids during the time he was free. On Monday, May 5, Anderson and his family heard the words they had hoped and prayed for.
"You've been a good father. You've been a good husband. You've been a good taxpaying citizen of the State of Missouri," Judge Terry Lynn Brown said, granting Anderson's request for release.. "That leads me to believe that you are a good man and a changed man."
Cornealious (Mike) Anderson hugs his grandmother after being freed
Anderson said the hardest thing was watching his family go through this difficult period. He never allowed any of his children to visit him in prison.
"I don't think any child should have to see their father or loved one like that," he said on "Today." "I didn't want my children to feel that that was normal, something that's acceptable."
After spending the last nine months in a prison cell Anderson is now reunited with his family.
"I'm so thankful, thank God for everything," Anderson said outside of the courthouse.
Man Who Missed Most of Prison Sentence Goes Free
Man Freed After Clerical Error Caused 13-Year Sentence Delay