Charges dropped in Chicago high-rise jail escape


Share
Originally Posted Online: Jan. 03, 2013, 2:05 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 03, 2013, 11:16 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story

CHICAGO (AP) — A convicted bank robber no longer faces charges for climbing out of a high-rise jail in downtown Chicago on a rope made of bed sheets and leading authorities on a two-day manhunt that ended with his capture on the city's North Side.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Baker asked a federal judge Thursday to dismiss the escape charges because Joseph 'Jose' Banks, 37, already faces up to 80 years in prison in the separate bank robbery case.

With no objections from Banks' attorney, the judge dismissed the escape charges, which carried a maximum of five years in prison. Even without pursuing the escape charges, prosecutors can cite Banks' break-out in arguing for a harsher sentence on the bank robbery charges in March.

Banks escaped from the lockup Dec. 18 along with cellmate Kenneth Conley, who remains at large. FBI officials say Banks and Conley broke a large hole into the bottom of a window at the Metropolitan Correctional Center and used a rope made from bed sheets to climb about 20 stories to the ground.

Banks, known as the Second-Hand Bandit because he wore used clothes during his heists, was convicted in December of robbing two banks and attempting to rob two others. Authorities say he stole almost $600,000, and most of that still is missing.

He had to be restrained during his trial because he threatened to walk out of the courtroom. He verbally sparred with the prosecutor, at times arguing he was a sovereign citizen of a group that was above state and federal law.














 




Local events heading








  Today is Wednesday, April 16, the 106th day of 2014. There are 259 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Yesterday some bold thief stole a full bolt of calico from a box in front of Wadsworth's store, where it was on exhibition.
1889 -- 125 years ago: A team belonging to Peter Priese got away from its driver and made a mad run across the Rock Island Bridge. The driver was thrown from his seat but not hurt.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Carlton Taylor was appointed district deputy grand master for the 14th
Masonic District of Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Moline's million dollar municipal airport was dedicated to air transportation and the national defense by Lt. Gov. John Stelle.
1964 -- 50 years ago: THE ARGUS will be election headquarters for Rock Island County tomorrow night, and the public is invited to watch the operation. The closing of the polls at 6 p.m. will mark the start of open house in the newsroom. Visitors will see staff members receiving, tabulating and posting returns.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Few bricks actually tumbled, but no one seemed to mind as about 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the formal start of demolition at the site of a downtown civic center.




(More History)