A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced convicted bank robber Robert Maday to 32 years in prison for a crime spree that began when he escaped two Cook County state's attorney investigators on Sept. 17, 2009, and ended a day later after a high-speed car chase and crash.
U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo ordered Maday to serve the sentence consecutive to the 30-year term he received late last year from U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman for a series of 2008 bank holdups in Lake Zurich, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Huntley and Bloomingdale. Maday, 44, must complete at least 85 percent of both sentences before he is eligible for parole.
Castillo dismissed Maday's claim that the opportunity to slip his restraints in a Rolling Meadows parking lot while he was being transported from the Kankakee County jail to a hearing at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows proved an "irresistible impulse."
"Things could have gone a different way for you, Mr. Maday. You're talented, smart, bright," said Castillo.
However, Maday's "off the charts" criminal history spanning 30 years and including robbery, bank robbery, carjacking and aggravated battery "played right into the hands of mandatory minimum sentencing laws," Castillo said.
Maday, 44, escaped custody the day he was to be sentenced in Cook County circuit court to 13 years in prison for a series of aggravated robberies in the Northwest suburbs. His escape triggered a lockdown at several Northwest suburban schools as well as a massive manhunt.
Armed with the investigators' weapons, he carjacked a woman, whose vehicle he later abandoned. Early on Sept. 18, 2009, he carjacked a second woman in Hoffman Estates (for which he later received a 30-year sentence in circuit court) and robbed a Bloomingdale bank. Authorities arrested him after he crashed that stolen vehicle into a light pole in West Chicago.
A federal jury convicted him last year of escape, bank robbery and possession of a firearm among other charges. Pointing out that Maday injured no one during his daylong spree, defense attorney Anthony Sassan argued that his client is not a violent person, evidenced by his behavior, which could have had deadly consequences.
"When he had ultimate power and authority over another person, he chose not to exercise it," said Sassan describing his client as an "impulsive, angry kid who hasn't grown up."
Maday's former attorney, Assistant Public Defender Calvin Aguilar, who represented Maday in Rolling Meadows, described him as a man who would rather take a bullet than fire one.
"Life in prison for a crime spree that lasted one day and didn't leave a bruise on anyone is harsh," said Maday, who lashed out at "the degree of prosecutorial animosity unleashed against me," claimed he had no gun when he robbed the First American Bank in Bloomingdale. He blamed investigators for not using a cage vehicle to transport him, which he said sparked his "irresistible impulse to get away."
And he insisted he should not be subject to minimum sentencing that keeps him behind bars longer than a convicted murderer.
"You are not the poster child for the reform of mandatory minimum laws," said Castillo, who concluded the hearing expressing his reluctance at having to impose the mandatory sentence.
"If I had complete and total discretion, given that you did not use the weapon, I would have sentenced you to a 25-year term," he said. "But I'm obliged to follow the law."