Recaptured jail inmate wheeled into court

Jan. 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM

CHICAGO, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Kenneth Conley, half of a daring duo who used bedsheets to rappel from the 15th floor of a downtown Chicago jail, was wheeled into federal court Saturday.

Conley, who was arrested Friday in the Chicago suburb of Palos Hills, rode a wheelchair into the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, with his legs extended, his feet swollen and shoeless and one finger in a splint, the Chicago Tribune reported.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan ordered him held without bail pending a Jan. 17 preliminary hearing.

The 38-year-old convicted bank robber, who eluded authorities for 18 days before being recaptured, answered, "Yes, your honor" when asked if he understood the charges against him, the newspaper said.

Police said Conley was wearing an overcoat and beret and was using a cane he didn't need when arrested. He allegedly punched an officer before being tackled and taken into custody.

He's now back in the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he and fellow bank robber Joseph Banks were incarcerated before their Dec. 18 escape. Banks only tasted two days of freedom before he was caught.

Conley faces up to five years in prison on the escape count and up to 20 years for bank robbery.

He has a lengthy criminal record, including one conviction for armed robbery, the Tribune said.

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