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Article updated: 1/23/2013 3:59 PM

Bank robber pleads not guilty to jail escape

By

A bank robber has pleaded not guilty to an escape charge a month after he and a cellmate broke out of a high-rise Chicago lockup.

Kenneth Conley's lawyer entered the plea at a Wednesday arraignment. Dressed in orange jail clothing, Conley sat in a wheel chair with a leg he injured during his escape in a brace.

Prosecutors say he and Jose Banks scaled down nearly 20 stories using a makeshift rope on Dec. 18.

Banks was caught two days later. But Conley eluded capture until Jan. 4. Police stopped him outside a South suburban apartment complex disguised as an old man and carrying a cane.

Before his escape, the 38-year-old former strip club worker already faced a maximum 20-year prison term for bank robbery. Escape carries a maximum 5-year sentence.

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