Bank Robber Pleads Not Guilty To Chicago Jail Escape

Prosecutors say Kenneth Conley and Jose Banks scaled down nearly 20 stories using a makeshift rope

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    NEWSLETTERS

    FBI
    Kenneth Conley was re-captured this month at an apartment complex in Palos Hills disguised as an old man and carrying a cane.

    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.

    Authorities Capture Second Jail Escapee

    [CHI] Authorities Capture Second Jail Escapee
    Kenneth Conley was back in the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Friday night, roughly two weeks after he and another convicted bank robber escaped. Natalie Martinez reports.

    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.