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2009 escape may have cost bank robber any possible freedom

Updated: December 27, 2013 6:15AM

When he slipped out of a set of handcuffs, stole two guns and escaped from the back of a Cook County State’s Attorney’s investigator’s car back in September 2009, serial bank robber Robert Maday gave in to “an irrational impulse” that he “could not control,” he testified Monday.

But instead of the lifetime of freedom that he’d imagined for himself, the wild 27-hour crime spree that followed his escape will almost certainly be his last.

A 30-year prison sentence U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman handed Maday on Monday all but guarantees that he’ll die behind bars.

Calling Maday — a lifelong offender who was first convicted as a 13-year-old juvenile — a “poster child” for the failures of the criminal justice system, Gettleman noted that his actions in sticking up six north suburban banks meant multiple bank workers have also “been sentenced to a lifetime of trauma.”

Maday had in Sept. 2009 already pleaded guilty to the heists under a deal that would have limited his sentence to about 10 years, when he escaped as he was being transported to the Rolling Meadows courthouse.

After he slipped his cuffs, he disarmed and handcuffed two investigators and made off with their pants, then used their guns to carjack two motorists, robbed a Bloomingdale bank he had previously stuck up, and was on his way to buy a getaway car when he was spotted by West Chicago Police and crashed, leading to his capture.

He has since been sentenced to 44 years in state court for some crimes associated with the escape and is awaiting a minimum additional 32 years in federal prison for other offenses connected to the escape.

Even before Monday’s sentencing for the earlier heists, and allowing for time off for good behavior, he would have had to have lived into his late 90s to have any hope of tasting freedom again.

Defending Maday, Attorney Anthony Sassan accused the government of “piling on.” Even murderers and child sex offenders serve far shorter sentences, he argued, adding that Maday had never been treated for mental health problems arising from his troubled upbringing.

Maday himself said he was “very sorry” for what he’d done, acknowledging that his apology “must seem very feeble” to his victims.

But a tearful Amber McBride — one of the bank tellers Maday stuck up at the MidWest Bank in Lake Zurich in Oct. 2008 — said she was still so shaken that she still rarely leaves the house. Her daughter read an emotional statement written by McBride, saying she was “sick of people telling me to get over it” and wanted Maday permanently locked up.


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