Jail escapee tells judge to ‘stick it’ at sentencing
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter February 24, 2014 12:46PM
Updated: March 26, 2014 6:15AM
Daring jail escapee Kenneth Conley told a federal judge to “stick it right up your ass” Monday morning.
Now he’s going to be the baddest man behind bars for another 3½ years.
Conley, who captured the public’s imagination in December 2012 when he brazenly rappelled to freedom from his 17th floor cell in the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center via a rope jerry-rigged from bedsheets and dental floss, smirked his way through his sentencing hearing Monday.
He winked at the federal agents who finally caught him after his two weeks on the run and openly yawned as prosecutors discussed his shameless life of crime.
And moments after U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman tacked an extra 3½ years onto the 20-year sentence he’s already serving for bank robbery, Conley exploded at the judge.
“You can take your analogy and stick it right up your ass!” Conley, 40, told the judge, suggesting Feinerman increase his sentence to five years.
A stunned Feinerman said “Thank you,” but declined to increase the sentence.
It wasn’t the first time Conley — who widened his cell window at the MCC, then lowered himself from the high-rise jail onto a parking lot roof with his cellmate, Jose Banks — has tried to prove to federal authorities that he’s a bad boy.
When he was finally caught in south suburban Palos Hills two weeks after his escape, he allegedly told the FBI, “It happened once — what makes you think it won’t happen again?”
His bold escape, and lack of contrition, already factored heavily in the decision of another federal judge, Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, to last summer sentence Conley to the maximum possible sentence of 20 years for robbing a TCF bank in Homewood.
Conley’s attorney Gary Ravitz argued Monday that it therefore wasn’t fair to tack on extra prison time for the escape itself. He claimed Conley had “his tail between his legs” following his capture.
But Feinerman said that Conley’s long history of armed robberies showed he was “incorrigibly violent.”
He noted that “doing what Mr. Conley did takes brains, it takes ingenuity and it takes gumption,” and Feinerman said Conley was more likely to re-offend when he eventually gets out of prison than the average 60-something ex-con.
“Nothing else has worked” except prison time in straightening out the former strip-club floor manager, he said.
“And even that hasn’t worked,” he added, moments before Conley cursed him out.