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'Un-convicted' man sent to prison | (UPI) -- A St. Louis judge has issued an apology to a man who was sent to prison even though he was never actually convicted. So far Michael W. Cook has spent nearly three months in prison, even though his case never went to trial and no final decision about his future has been made.

Cook, 46, is a landscape worker from nearby Belleville, Ill., and was charged more than a year ago with two counts of burglary. He was scheduled to go to court last December but before the trial could take place, something went wrong and Cook was handed over to prison officials to begin serving a five-year sentence.

Part of the confusion came about when papers prepared by Cook's lawyer -- thinking his client eventually would be found guilty -- ended up on the judge's desk by mistake. Cook still must stand trial but if he is found guilty, time served will be deducted from his sentence.

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