Sentencing

Inmate's 17th-story bedsheet-rope escape shows he should get 20 years for bank robbery, judge says


Kenneth Conley hasn’t yet been convicted for his dramatic escape last December from a federal detention center in Chicago, in which he and a cellmate reportedly scaled down from the building’s 17th floor on a rope made of bedsheets.

However, that didn’t prevent U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan from taking the December incident into account at Conley’s sentencing in a prior bank robbery case. Characterizing Conley as a violent career criminal who demonstrated “an utter lack of respect for the law by his escape from the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” the judge gave him the 20-year term the government had sought, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The defense had sought a sentence of 9 to 11 years and contended that Conley was a good candidate for rehabilitation.

“Escaping from jail is not consistent with acceptance of responsibility. Actions sometimes speak louder than words,” the judge stated.

An FBI agent who testified at sentencing said the two escapees had enlarged both the height and width of an 8-inch wide window in their cell, making it possible to squeeze out of their 17th-floor cell, the newspaper recounts. Details of the escape in previous news accounts were a bit different.

It isn’t clear how Conley and his cellmate managed to get hold of enough bedsheets to create a rope.

See also

ABAJournal.com: “Convicted Bank Robbers Escape Federal Prison in Chicago, Climb Down 15 Floors Using Bedsheets”

ABAJournal.com: “Feds Drop Escape Charge re Inmate’s Daring 15-Story Climb Down Chicago Prison Facade”

ABAJournal.com: “2nd Man Who Escaped Federal Prison by Climbing Down 15 Stories on Bedsheet Rope Is Captured”

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