Robert Maday, who broke out of custody and went on a 27-hour crime spree across the suburbs in 2009, was convicted Wednesday on federal escape, bank robbery and weapons charges, and will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
As the five guilty verdicts were read, Maday, 42, gasped out loud in frustration and leaned back in his chair in response to the decision on the charge of using a firearm to rob a bank. That was the charge Maday's lawyer, Anthony Sassan, argued against most passionately during the trial, trying to raise a reasonable doubt in the jurors' minds because a gun could not be seen in the bank surveillance video of the robbery Sept. 18, 2009, at First American Bank in Bloomingdale.
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Prosecutors, however, presented evidence to show Maday told the tellers he had a gun, showed the gun in the hours before and after the robbery, and confessed to police that he was carrying a gun at the time.
Extra U.S. marshals were in the courtroom Wednesday to ensure there would be no second escape for the man who, on Sept. 17, 2009, slipped out of his restraints and escaped custody of two Cook County state's attorney investigators. At the time, he was being driven from the Kankakee jail to the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows, where he was going to get a 13-year sentence for a series of suburban robberies.
In addition to that 13-year sentence, Maday has also been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the carjacking in Hoffman Estates. With Wednesday's verdict, he'll have to serve at least an additional 32 years of prison time, and some of the convictions could draw a life sentence, federal prosecutor Annie Kastanek said.
"He seemed to think, in his own mind, he was this legendary criminal," Kastanek said. "But it's likely he'll spend the rest of his life in jail."
Prosecutor Derek Owens, who tried the case with Kastanek, said he hopes the guilty verdicts will bring closure to people traumatized by Maday's crime spree, including the suburban bank tellers.
"It's been a long ordeal over the last 3½ years. Closure for those victims is very important," Owens said. "You saw how the victims of the bank robbery, the tellers, were traumatized after this event."
Maday's 2009 escape triggered an extensive police manhunt and an "armed and dangerous" warning to the public as he was being spotted around the Northwest suburbs. A few schools were put on lockdown, helicopters circled the area and police in riot gear mobilized at sites where he was suspected of hiding.
Maday carjacked a vehicle at the Meijer parking lot in Rolling Meadows, but abandoned it a short time later and eluded police. The next morning, he carjacked another woman in Hoffman Estates, robbed the Bloomingdale bank and was arrested after he crashed the stolen car in West Chicago after a police chase.
Sassan said Maday's troubles began when he started using cocaine and committing robberies to buy the drug.
"Throughout his life, when he got in trouble, that (the drugs) was a part of it," Sassan said.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 17.
Sassan said he plans to review the pretrial rulings and trial testimony.
"We're going to appeal things. I don't know specifically what we're going to appeal yet," Sassan said.