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Man who feared feds would finally impose sentence may have deal to avoid more prison

(CNN) Demetrius Anderson walked out of a Connecticut state prison in 2006 thinking he was ready to leave behind his criminal past and build a new life as an upstanding citizen.

The Philadelphia native stayed in Connecticut and stayed out of trouble. He has two jobs, lives in a nice apartment and belongs to a church.

But last week, eight US Marshals came to his home. He was certain they were after the wrong person. He hadn't committed a crime in more than 13 years. They insisted he come with them to court because he still had a 16-month federal sentence to serve for crimes he committed in Philadelphia.

A judge issued a bench warrant and Anderson was due back in court April 4, when it's possible he could be detained and sent to federal prison.

That won't happen now after his lawyer said he reached a verbal agreement with prosecutors and the Bureau of Prisons to give Anderson credit for time "at liberty."

"I'm overjoyed but waiting for official paperwork," Anderson said, adding, "it's a blessing, but I want the blessing to be official. My heart is back in my chest where it should be."

Attorney Michael Dolan said Friday he does not have an official agreement in writing.

CNN's efforts to reach the US Attorney's Office and the office of the federal judge overseeing the case were not immediately successful.

Anderson went on with his life

Anderson has said he thought his state sentence was concurrent to his federal one. And when he got out of prison early, there were no federal officials to transfer him to another facility.

He went out and got a job, reported to his parole officer, and lived a crime-free life.

But during an internal audit, federal marshals reportedly discovered Anderson never served prison time for his federal charge. They asked a Pennsylvania judge to issue a warrant for his detention.

'Cruel and unusual punishment,' lawyer says

Dolan helped get Anderson released the day the marshals detained him, and he has been working with federal public defenders to keep his client from going to prison again.

"I certainly think it is cruel and unusual punishment," Dolan said Thursday.

Anderson was first held in Connecticut, but in 2004 was sent to Pennsylvania where he was locked up while awaiting his federal trial on charges involving counterfeit money. After he was sentenced in 2005, he was transferred back to Connecticut where he pleaded guilty to forgery charges and other counts. The judge said the sentences would run concurrently, Dolan said.

"The department of corrections will do a warrant check, a detainer check," Dolan told CNN's Don Lemon. "We presume that that was done back in 2006."

"I can't speak to why they went back that far or why this wasn't caught earlier," he said.

'It's scary, I'm scared. It's bleak, it's dark ...'

Anderson and Dolan told Lemon that Anderson's brother murdered his parents in 2016. The trauma of the murders, Anderson said, has led him to go to therapy and made the thought of federal prison even worse.

"It's scary, I'm scared. It's bleak, it's dark; I can't imagine it. I don't think I could handle it considering what I'm going through," he said Thursday.

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