CHICAGO | A convicted bank robber has pleaded guilty to escaping from a high-rise Chicago lockup with a cellmate last year.
Kenneth Conley changed his plea in U.S. District Court Monday after negotiating a plea agreement with prosecutors.
The 39-year-old Tinley Park man is already serving a 20-year sentence for bank robbery. A judge could hand Conley as much as five additional years behind bars when he's sentenced for the escape on Feb. 6.
Conley and Jose Banks scaled down 17 stories of the Metropolitan Correctional Center using a rope fashioned from bed sheets and dental floss. Banks was soon caught. But police stopped Conley disguised as an old man in a suburb only weeks later.
Banks already faced up to 80 years for bank robbery, so authorities dropped the escape charge.
Conley was arrested in September 2011 in California after robbing an MB Financial Bank inside Walt's Grocery Store, 2345 W. 183rd St. in Homewood in May 2011. Conley allegedly pointed a black pistol at a teller, told her to open the drawer and hand him the money.
Days afterward, he was arrested by Chicago Heights police after allegedly pointing a gun at a person from a gold Land Rover. During that arrest, police recovered a black BB gun and suit that resembled the one worn in the Homewood bank robbery.
Conley was employed as a floor host at Club 390 strip club, 390 Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights and allegedly reported to work late the day of the robbery. A club manager told investigators the day of the robbery, Conley came in late to pay another employee the remainder of a loan he owed.
Conley allegedly said he was flying to Bermuda the next day. A club employee told investigators at the time that when Conley paid the employee $500 for the loan, he allegedly had more cash than usual.