Prosecutor: Man's prison release doesn't set precedent

KSDK - Twenty four hours made all the difference for a man who walked out of prison during the day, and spent the night flying to New York to tell his story on The Today Show.

It's a story of mistakes and second chances.

Judge Terry Brown gave Mike Anderson the pass to get out of jail and go back to the life he'd built as a father, husband, coach, church member and businessman. He'd been in jail since last July, away from his four children and his wife.

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"I didn't want my children to see that was normal or acceptable. I didn't want them to see me like that," he said.

Anderson was convicted of armed robbery in 2000 in St. Charles County. He robbed a Burger King manager as he went to deposit the money in the night deposit. He walked out of prison because of a paperwork error. He never served his whole time. The prison system only realized the mistake when they came to let him out of prison.

PREVIOUS STORY: Mistake sends man to prison for 1999 crime

The U.S. Marshalls brought Anderson back to prison in Charleston, Mo.

"This was an extreme situation. Mr. Anderson was able to do something for himself very very few people could do," said St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar. He was not in office when Anderson was convicted. He understands the decision to give Anderson time served for his 13 years but he said it's a slippery slope.

"I'm faced with the laws handed down by the legislature we can't treat one individual differently than another, " said Lohmar. He said the justice system is about second chances but he sees too many people who don't take them. "We see the same people coming through quite often,"

Lohmar doesn't think Anderson's case sets any precedent but he said, other prosecutors will be watching the effect of the Anderson ruling in the coming days. The Attorney General's spokesman said he doesn't know of any other cases like Anderson's in the prison system. He doesn't believe there will be any effect on other cases. The last similar case to Anderson's was in 1912.


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