Loop jailbreak suspect pleads guilty
October 21, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- One of the two men who engineered a daring overnight exit from a high-rise prison in downtown Chicago has pleaded guilty to a single escape charge.
Convicted bank robber Kenneth Conley, 39, said little in federal court Monday morning. His feet were shackled, two U.S. Marshals stood guard steps away.
Conley and his cellmate Joseph "Jose" Banks cut their way out of the narrow window of their cell on the 17th floor of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in December of 2012. Banks was recaptured days later in Chicago, Conley remained free for 18 days until he was found hiding in southwest suburban Palos Hills.
The two inmates tied bed sheets together and scaled down the side of the federal prison to freedom. Last month, Banks described the escape in a letter to ABC 7 shared by a friend.
"The entire experience was not a death-defying act bent on entertaining the masses but that of a horrific unimaginable nightmare. A suicidal one, if I may add," Banks wrote in the letter. Federal prosecutors have not yet charged Banks in the escape.
Conley faces a maximum sentence of three years and 8 months for the escape. What remains unclear is whether Conley will serve the new sentence in addition to the 20 years he'll spend locked up for the bank robbery charge or if a judge will allow the sentences to be served concurrently. Conley is scheduled to be sentenced on the escape charge February 6.
city of chicago, the loop, chicago news, ben bradley
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