CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Being accused of a crime is far different than being convicted of that crime.
Justice is often served, but sometimes, those who are found not guilty don’t always get the satisfaction of telling the world they didn’t do it.
One such Cleveland man gets to clear his name on TV.
“I was accused of a triple shooting. That happened in 2017. Three people were shot including a nine year-old girl.”
A then 34-year-old Carlos Anderson will never forget standing in a courtroom accused of a crime he did not commit.
“It had me feeling terrible. So, when the incident happened and I was a suspect I turned myself in immediately.”
That should have been the first clue that Anderson, who hasn’t always been an angel, was not the shooter.
He was arrested, charged, and spent more than six months in jail.
“I lost my mom at that time. Being exonerated after hearing not guilty, coming home to no mom. I really don’t get the joy of being exonerated.”
His mother went with him to surrender, afraid of what would happen to him.
He says even though his face was on TV being accused of the triple shootings, the police didn’t know who he was when he turned himself in.
He says he wasn’t anywhere near the crime scene, and that his phone and laptop records would have showed that if police had asked.
However, Anderson says they didn’t.
The shooter was described by eyewitnesses as wearing dreadlocks and being about 5′7″.
Anderson is over 6-feet tall and he says he has never worn dreads.
While he was in the county jail, his mother, Connie, died.
He says he not only lost her, he lost his reputation too.
“Somebody like that don’t need to be on our streets at all, under any circumstances, because if he’ll do it to that child he’ll do it to any of our kids.”
“They put me on the news, on every platform, that I was the shooter. But they did not put me on the news that I wasn’t the shooter. Even during the trial I asked the judge where are the cameras at?”
To be fair Cleveland 19 News reported that Carlos Anderson was “accused” of the shootings.
But, to his point, we did not follow up with the fact that he was cleared.
"I can’t speak at none of the schools. They don’t know that I’m exonerated. They see that I’m out, but they’re like what happened to the case. They’re like I just got out. I wasn’t cleared up publicly. It just changed my life. I’ve been down. I’ve been depressed. I can’t get any money obviously. I’m out of work. I’m my own business. It destroyed me.”
Justice delayed in this case does not mean justice denied.
Carlos Anderson is a free man, cleared of shooting three people.
Hopefully, this story will give him some relief so he can move on with his life...He deserves at least that much.