A bank robber has pleaded not guilty to an escape charge a month after he and a cellmate broke out of a high-rise Chicago lockup.
Kenneth Conley's lawyer entered the plea at a Wednesday arraignment. Dressed in orange jail clothing, Conley sat in a wheelchair with a leg he injured during his escape in a brace.
Prosecutors say he and Jose Banks scaled down nearly 20 stories using a makeshift rope on Dec. 18. The two convicted bank robbers were serving time in the Loop facility when authorities said they broke a large hole into the bottom of a window and fashioned a rope from bed sheets.
Banks was caught two days later, but Conley eluded capture until Jan. 4. Federal officials said he was re-captured at an apartment complex in Palos Hills disguised as an old man and carrying a cane. Conley was taken into custody after a brief chase and a struggle, Palos Hills Police Chief Paul Madigan told NBC Chicago.
Before his escape, the 38-year-old former strip club worker already faced a maximum 20-year prison term for bank robbery. Escape carries a maximum 5-year sentence.