The year is 2002. A man sits outside his house looking at his watch, waiting. From the number of glances, he gives his watch it is obvious that he is waiting for something. The hands of time seem to have arthritis because they seem to not be able to move. A couple of hours pass by and after some time the man goes back to his house. The next day and the next day after that he does the same thing. Waits outside his house while glancing at his watch as if to wait for someone or something. 

To understand why this man (Cornealious Michael Anderson III) is doing this we go back in time to August 15, 1999, where Cornealious and a colleague rob a Burger King manager at gunpoint and make away with 2000$.

A witness saw this and reported the license plate to the police and through this information, the police were able to track the car shortly after.

Two months later they found Cornealious hiding in his girlfriend’s apartment. 

They searched his apartment for any weapons but to no avail. They however found a brochure about semiautomatic pistols and used this as evidence. In 2000 he was found guilty and sentenced to 13 years in prison but appealed and was released on a 25000$ bond. After the verdict Cornealious’ attorney appealed to the supreme court for his freedom but four out of seven judges ruled that he should serve his 13-year sentence.


After this verdict, the bond was revoked and he was ordered to serve 13 years in prison.

This brings us to the beginning of this story.

He was a free man enjoying the last bits of freedom before the police came to arrest him and take him to jail. On the day of his arrest, he sat outside his house and waited, and after a couple of hours, nobody came for him. The same thing happened the next day and the next and the next and before we knew it, a week had already passed. 

Weeks turned to months, months to years and Cornealious was living his best life at this point.

The first few months were hard because he was always expecting someone to knock down his door anytime and arrest him. In 2004, two years after his sentencing, Cornealious filed another appeal based on inadequate representation, and on this appeal, he stated that he was not in prison and even gave his current address. Nothing happened and seven years after he met his wife and they got married in 2007, he founded a company, registered a business, voted, and even renewed his driver’s license. 


Then the day came. Thirteen years later July 25th, 2013, Cornealious was arrested at his home.

The only reason this was possible was that on this date it was his scheduled release date and when the system was about to release him, they realized their gross mistake.

Up until this time, his wife did not know his prior robbery conviction. Which makes me a bit more tolerable to the notion ‘men will embarrass you.’ You would think this is something to disclose on the first date. A piece of advice on the first date; make sure to ask about your date’s criminal record. Anyway, I digress. 

After countless legal battles, on May 5, 2014, Cornealious was released from prison with credit for time served to make him a free man with no need for parole.

His main argument was that he was a reformed man, and a respectable member of society, a great dad, paid his taxes among other things. 

At the end of this reading if you were in the judge’s shoes would you have released him based on his reforms or done things differently? This question has a lot of people scratching their heads and holding different opinions. 

Written by Fidel Gatimu