After avoiding prison due to clerical error, 'changed man' facing new robbery charge

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ST. LOUIS — A man who avoided prison for 13 years because of a clerical error is in trouble again, just months after a Missouri judge released him from his original sentence for armed robbery and declared him a "good man and a changed man."

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson was arrested on second-degree robbery charges for allegedly grabbing a woman's purse in downtown St. Louis early Sunday and briefly dragging her while trying to pull the bag from her shoulder. Prosecutors said Monday that Anderson matched a description given to police by the victim and a witness, both of whom later identified him as the robber, but his attorney said police made a big mistake.

"There was a report of a man who completely and totally did not match my client's description as the alleged purse snatcher," his attorney, Patrick Megaro, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It makes me wonder what is going on out there in St. Louis."

Anderson is free on $10,000 bond. Megaro didn't return a message Tuesday from The Associated Press.

Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the armed robbery of a Burger King worker in St. Charles County, just north of St. Louis, in 2000. He waited for information on when and where to report to prison, but the order never came, he told the AP earlier this year.

Anderson, now 37, later started his own carpentry business, married, had children, coached youth football and volunteered at his church in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis.

When prison officials found the clerical error in July 2013, as Anderson's prison term was set to end, eight U.S. marshals were sent to his home and took him to prison. He remained in jail until May.

"You've been a good father," Judge Terry Lynn Brown said during a hearing in May, when he set Anderson free. "You've been a good husband. You've been a good taxpaying citizen of the state of Missouri. That leads me to believe that you are a good man and a changed man."

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