The all-white jury returned swiftly with a guilty verdict. Anderson received thirteen years: ten for robbery and three for armed criminal action.


Anderson walked out of Fulton Diagnostic for the first time in June 2000 — ten months after the initial robbery. Using money scraped together from relatives, the family hired a new attorney to handle an appeal. After it was filed, Anderson bonded out — $25,000 paid for using a property owned by his stepfather as collateral. The bond was signed by St. Charles County Judge Lucy Rauch.

For the appeal Anderson's new attorney, Alan Kimbrell, argued that the Beretta brochure should never have been admitted into evidence or shown to a jury because it created "unfair prejudice" against Anderson. The Eastern District Court of Appeals judge disagreed and reaffirmed Anderson's conviction.

Kimbrell then appealed to the Missouri State Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case in 2002. In the meantime, Anderson married his first wife, became a father and was in training to become a journeyman carpenter.

In the court's opinion, issued in May 2002, Judge Michael Wolff wrote for the minority, "The brochure is the only corroboration of the state's understandably weak evidence. It is not at all cumulative and cannot be treated as harmless. Without the gun brochure, the evidence supporting armed criminal action is neither strong nor overwhelming."

Wolff wrote that Anderson deserved a new trial, but the panel of judges voted four to three to uphold the conviction. Kimbrell appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. It declined to hear his argument.

Most everyone contacted by Riverfront Times agrees that Anderson's bond should have been revoked or a warrant issued for his arrest at that point. Bafflingly, neither occurred.

"Obviously, I don't know what happened, but presumably there was a break in that line of communication," says St. Charles prosecuting attorney Tim Lohmar.

Wolff also expressed surprise when told that Anderson never again reentered custody.

"That's pretty special," he says wryly. "It goes back to the trial court. They're supposed to issue an arrest warrant or have him surrender."

It isn't clear who erred — the Missouri Supreme Court, the original appeals court or the St. Charles court.

"Most of the time the communication to us on the status of the appeals is pretty bad," says Carrie Barth, St. Charles' chief warrant officer. "I don't think any warrant should have come from us — at least not that I'm aware of."

Barth suggested the Attorney General's Office may have been responsible for the warrant, but Scott Holste — spokesman for Governor Jay Nixon, the attorney general at the time — said in a statement that the AG's office "does not have notification role in these matters."

In 2004, after four years of living and working in Webster Groves, Anderson filed a post-conviction appeal in St. Charles court with Judge Rauch. A new team of lawyers argued that Anderson received inadequate counsel at his original trial. The filing alleges that Anderson's attorney failed to challenge the prosecutor on a number of items raised in court, including the assertion that Anderson was a gang member.

The very first line of the post-conviction appeal filing reads, "Movant is not presently incarcerated." In several places throughout the filing Anderson's address is given as a home in Webster Groves; the address for Laron Harris, meanwhile, is listed as "Missouri Department of Corrections." No one apparently thought anything of this.

That final appeal withered in 2005. It was the last the court system would hear of Cornealious Anderson for seven years.


Early this summer, a blip of activity suddenly appeared in Anderson's dormant 1999 case file, long ago sent to archives in Jefferson City. The Missouri Department of Corrections was preparing for Anderson's release — that is, the release he would have been getting if he had in fact been incarcerated since 2000, as its records apparently showed. Nanci Gonder, a spokesperson for the attorney general, says the DOC contacted the AG's office and got the ball rolling on the warrant, which was issued by the Missouri Supreme Court.

Ever since his arrest, Anderson's family has been seeking information on how this could have happened and how to get him home as soon as possible. They are desperate to avoid the worst-case scenario: He will simply have to serve the remaining years of his sentence starting now. According to several criminal-defense attorneys contacted by Riverfront Times, this is a very real possibility.

"The other possibility, of course, is executive action — clemency," says Frank Bowman, professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and coeditor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter. "Say, 'Hey, governor, can you pardon him or commute his sentence in light of this error on the part of the state? This person has taken advantage of this great chance, has kept his nose clean and become a great citizen. After all, you have budgetary problems. What good is it going to do to stick this family man inside and pay for his room and board?'"

Nixon, however, is notoriously stingy with clemency. Since he took office in 2009, only one prisoner has received a commutation of sentence. That stands in sharp contrast to neighboring Illinois, where Governor Pat Quinn has granted more than 900 applications for clemency, pardon or commutation of sentence in the same amount of time.

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38 comments
Xfacto
Xfacto

I feel sorry for his family but not for this POS. While he was on the lamb, did he bother to check on his victims to see how they were handling the fact that he was hiding from justice? Maybe I miss that part.

hubbabubba8890
hubbabubba8890

Prison was never intended to be a punishment. It was intended to keep dangerous criminals off of the streets until they were no longer a danger to society. This man clearly has proved that he is no longer a danger to society. Therefore, there is no need to put him in prison.

Careers123
Careers123

This was the Justice system's fault.  This man has turned his life around.   He was young and stupid.  Even the victim said to let him go.  Give him a second chance! 

kravers13
kravers13

Yet HSB and its managers and CEOs, which laundered money for drug cartels, is too big to prosecute for its known crimes. It's a fool who looks for justice in these cynical times.

Thornquist
Thornquist

If the point of our judicial system is to serve "justice," then the only way to serve that interest in this case is to allow this man to return to his life, his family, his work, and everything else that defines his existence now, 13 years after he erred.  If this sets a new precedent, so be it.  That would be a good precedent to set, since it would set a standard for what constitutes gross negligence on the part of the government versus what harm would result from a clearly obscene level of nonsensical retribution for a crime.  An opinion can be written to establish the bounds of this standard, but certainly any other result in this case would not be "justice".

Larry
Larry

JerQuan?  What is a JerQuan, a hero from the Pre-Civil War era?   Perhaps an amalgamation of different words words describing his father's gangster behavior?  This kid is almost destined to be in the Womens' bathroom at Meramec College in a couple of years........

warlordsworld
warlordsworld

If he's looking for "sympathy..". he will find it in the dictionary about half way between "shit" and "syphilis..."

carol.gilster
carol.gilster

The system can break down and allow the individual not be be persued.  So he leads a normal and honest life.  Then, when the break down is discovered, it takes him back to when the incident occurred.  As if he lived in limbo all that time.   But, he did not.  He lived an honest, god fearing, loving family life with an established business he ran in a dedicated way.

When will it be allowed that REASON can be introduced into the system?  Why break up the life of this man and his family?  His business, income, family and community will suffer if that happens.  Should taxpayers now support him for years and diminish the lives of his family and him?  Surely many community members will vouch for him.  Why not parole him to the community for a few years and let him continue to support his family?  What is the point of incarceration?  We say it is to make people behave better but it seems to be purely vindictive if a person in this man's situation is sent to prison.  ???????????

rrruby7
rrruby7

Nixon should do the right thing and let him out. He belongs with his family, not in prison. He had some inept lawyers. He was not properly represented. I am also a resident of Webster Groves. I am glad to have a neighbor like him.

Tim Garner
Tim Garner

Yes he did the crime Idc if the govt screwed up a CRIMINAL should not b allowed to walk free bc of it

Kevin Rotellini
Kevin Rotellini

re-sentence him give him 20 years probation with 13 year sentence to be imposed if he violates probation. It's a win-win for everyone let him be with his family and gives state piece of mind in case he does screw up

Jacinda Santora
Jacinda Santora

Sounds like 13 years of living an honest life have done more for rehabilitation than the prison system would have.

Brian Brown
Brian Brown

Once they let you out , that's it . Your mistake

ted148
ted148

@warlordsworld You are a typical brain-dead teabagger/troll -without a shred decency or common sense - how does depriving his wife and family  of a taxpaying, law-abiding father, at the cost to taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars serve the greater good?  Now mind you dumb dumb, that the man who was robbed has forgiven him, yet somehow you sitting in your easy chair, passing judgement and stuffing your fat-ass face with potato chips, think he needs to rot for 13 years.  You sir, are a douche of magnificent proportions.


imastar7
imastar7

@carol.gilster Because you will set an example if the system screws up or you remain at large and live a FORCED good life then somehow you get a free pass

suetoo
suetoo

Better call Saul

Thornquist
Thornquist

The victim is on record saying he believes the man ought to be free.  So that ends that, since no once else has the right to speak for the victim.

mplo
mplo

Quite frankly, if I'd heard that a neighbor of mine had been charged with armed robbery , no matter how long ago that was, and then not put into prison due to a clerical error or technicality, I would more than likely not trust  him, because  there's  no telling what else a guy like that might do somewhere  along the line, no matter what kind of an honest life he was living.

gwpurdy
gwpurdy

@ted148 Google his "sympathy" quote and you'll see he can't even come up with his own saying but one from "Major Pain." which others have used from the count I get. I guess this moron wants to spend $32,000 for the next 13 years on a person who did MORE for himself that the judicial and prison system ever would! Please pull the cash out of your arse and make those payments for the rest of us warofhatever!

Lets count them:
-Worked and paid taxes
-Coached or should I say like above VOLLENTEERED his time to coach, 

-Started a business EMPLOYING how many?? Wwhich BTW is MORE TAXES coming into the system because OF Mr. Anderson
-He PAID HIS OWN business taxes into the system
-Was very active in his church
What else do we NOT know which is really non of our busness!
What have YOU done War? Come on slick. You posted something copied from a movie which tells us you might be one of those welfare suckers on the system or completely oblivious to the cost to your wallet to put what many of us consider a completely REHABILITATED criminal by doing MORE than most of the whole paroled prisoners in America and you are posting crap from a movie? Go pay his taxes for him! He probably has done MORE in the past 13 years than you have!

And those are what we do know about Mr Anderson. You want to take away incoming taxes and PAY MORE OUT to feed him, clothe him, shelter him, pay for his ACA which a president forced down our throats and now criminals get it for FREE which is completely unnecessary as they get all that IN prison so why add costs to US?

Please think before posting War

Careers123
Careers123

Wow... Couldn't have said it better!

ted148
ted148

@imastar7 @carol.gilster   You are a typical brain-dead teabagger/troll -without a shred decency or common sense - how does depriving his wife and family  of a taxpaying, law-abiding father, at the cost to taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars serve the greater good?  

Thornquist
Thornquist

@imastar7 @carol.gilster  No free pass argument is persuasive, given the 13 years of anguish this man must have been weighed down with, given the harm inflicted on his wife and children on watching this travesty unfold, given what will no doubt be his changed image in the community upon his release, all of which constitute a part of the "punishment" aspect of our judicial system.  As for the "rehabilitative" aspect of the system, the facts suggest they have been successfully achieved, and in a spectacular way (which is not likely a result the system would have even marginally achieved had this man served his sentence in prison, at great public cost).  The system needs to allow for some measure of common sense.

carol.gilster
carol.gilster

@imastar7 @carol.gilster Hi, I take positive results wherever I can find them.  Perhaps living a "forced" good life outside prison walls bears more positive weight than forced good living inside prison where one has little choice as to how one lives?

gwpurdy
gwpurdy

@ted148Google his "sympathy" quote and you'll see he can't even come up with his own saying but one from "Major Pain." which others have used from the count I get. I guess this moron wants to spend $32,000 for the next 13 years on a person who did MORE for himself than the judicial and prison system ever would! Please pull the cash out of your six and make those payments for the rest of us warofhatever!

Lets count them:
-Worked and paid taxes
-Coached or should I say like above VOLLENTEERED his time to coach.

-Started a business EMPLOYING how many?? Which BTW is MORE TAXES coming into the system because OF Mr. Anderson
-He PAID HIS OWN business taxes into the system
-Was very active in his church
-What else do we NOT know which is really non of our business!

What have YOU done War? Come on slick. You posted something copied from a movie which tells us you might be one of those welfare suckers on the system or completely oblivious to the cost to your wallet to put what many of us consider a completely REHABILITATED criminal by doing MORE than most of the whole paroled prisoners in America do, and you are posting crap from a movie?

Go pay his taxes for him! He probably has done MORE in the past 13 years than you have!

And those are what we do know about Mr Anderson. You want to take away incoming taxes, employed people in his area, and PAY MORE OUT to feed him, clothe him, shelter him, pay for his ACA which a president forced down our throats and now criminals get it for FREE which is completely unnecessary as they get all that IN prison so why add costs to US?

Please think before posting War

tdwilliams99999
tdwilliams99999

@imastar7 I agree with ted - thanks for making his point dumb dumb - enjoy your trailer park 

Careers123
Careers123

I agree.  Let the man be free.  he changed his whold life.  Give him credit for that.  He was young and stupid.  Even the victim said to let him go! 

carol.gilster
carol.gilster

@imastar7This man could have easily broken the law many times because he was not imprisoned.  He did not.  Had he been in prison, his opportunity to break the law would have been very limited.  Therefore, he has proven his ability to be a good, lawabiding citizen.
Is prison to make people behave better or to punish people?  He now behaves better already.  so the question becomes should he now be punished?  If so, also punished will be his family and we, the taxpayers, who will have to support him during his imprisonment.
And, it is not necessary to make demeaning comments in a discussion.  It tends to draw attention away from the actual discussion.

carol.gilster
carol.gilster

This man could have easily broken the law many times because he was not imprisoned.  He did not.  Had he been in prison, his opportunity to break the law would have been very limited.  Therefore, he has proven his ability to be a good, lawabiding citizen.

Is prison to make people behave better or to punish people?  He now behaves better already.  so the question becomes should he now be punished?  If so, also punished will be his family and we, the taxpayers, who will have to support him during his imprisonment.

And, it is not necessary to make demeaning comments in a discussion.  It tends to draw attention away from the actual discussion.

imastar7
imastar7

@carol.gilster @imastar7 When you wake up you may realize what you just said is prison on BOTH counts... AND NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CRIME....
 

 
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