This morning, an attorney for Cornealious "Mike" Anderson III, the man re-incarcerated this past July for a robbery he was convicted of thirteen years ago, filed a petition for declaratory judgment against George Lombardi, director of the Missouri Department of Corrections. In it, the lawyer argues that "Plaintiff be awarded jail credit with the Department of Corrections from May 25, 2000 until the present date...declaring that Plaintiff's sentence in Case # CR0199-002532F is satisfied, and direct the Defendant to discharge Plaintiff from custody forthwith."
This course of action was actually suggested by Attorney General Chris Koster in his filing to deny Anderson's release from prison last week. At the time, Anderson's attorney Patrick Michael Megaro told Daily RFT that it was not a viable path to freedom. It appears he has changed his mind.
Although Megaro declined to comment for now, he says that this petition for declaratory judgment is filed in addition to the petition for writ of habeas corpus he submitted back in December 2013. Both will move forward. He is also asking Governor Jay Nixon for executive clemency. Koster answered Anderson's writ of habeas corpus last week and argued that Anderson is in part to blame for the thirteen years he spent living as a free man due to a clerical error. However, in the same filing, he suggested that if Anderson sued the Department of Corrections asking that the years he was out improperly be counted toward his sentence, he would be immediately eligible for parole.
Megaro seems to have taken his suggestion and pushed it one step further -- while Koster wrote Anderson could get credit for 11.5 years and then face a parole board, Megaro's filing argues Anderson should get credit for all 13 years and be released immediately:
Both the decision on the writ of habeas corpus and on the petition for declaratory judgment now rest in the hands of Judge T. Lynn Brown of Mississippi County. There is currently a hearing date scheduled for May 5.
We'll continue to update as this bizarre case unfolds. In the meantime, get caught up with the whole saga here:
-- Original feature story -- Cornealious "Mike" Anderson: An Epilogue to the RFT Story Featured On This American Life -- Petition Asks MO Attorney General Chris Koster to Release Cornealious "Mike" Anderson -- Mike Anderson Officially Asks Gov. Jay Nixon for Clemency, Rebuts AG Chris Koster