Cornealious “Mike” Anderson walked away a free man instead of serving his 13 year sentence. When he was 23, he was convicted for robbing a Burger King in St Louis County, but due to a clerical mistake “he was never told when and where to report to prison”. Instead of running and hiding, Cornealious, now 37, decided to live his life the right way. He got married twice, had several children and started his own business. No longer a young delinquent, he changed his life around for the better.
It wasn’t until 13 years later, the moment happened that Anderson had been dreading. As he was getting his daughter breakfast, the SWAT team approached his home with automatic weapons. He was taken to prison in the Southeast Correctional Center to await his fate. Little did he know that his fate would be freedom.
Judge Terry Lynn Brown ruled that “keeping Anderson in prison would serve no purpose”. He told Anderson, ” You’ve been a good father. You’ve been a good husband. You’ve been a tax paying citizen of the state of Missouri. That leads me to believe that you are a good and a changed man”. The next words that came out of Judge Brown’s mouth, were words that Anderson didn’t know if he would ever hear. “You’re a free man,” he told Anderson.
Anderson’s story shows me that if you believe, then anything is possible. When his story made headlines, people couldn’t keep quiet. They signed online petitions to ensure that he would have a second chance. If he can change his life around, then anyone can.