Rolling Meadows courthouse escapee sentenced to 9 years
The prisoner whose escape last July from the Rolling Meadows courthouse sparked a three-hour manhunt was sentenced to a total of nine years in prison Thursday.
Jonathan J. Scott was sentenced to seven years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to the July 28 escape, which had officers combing neighborhoods with canine units while helicopters hovered overhead. Scott, 24, was also sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, the charge for which he was in custody at the time he escaped.
Cook County Judge Marc Martin ordered Scott serve his sentences consecutively. He also ordered Scott, who authorities said is homeless, to pay $1,178 in court costs. Members of Scott's family became visibly upset when he appeared with a chain around his waist and his arms shackled.
Martin chastised Scott for putting the community at risk.
"You're lucky you're alive," he said. "You could very well have been killed during this ordeal."
Scott, whose background includes convictions for battery to a police officer and criminal trespass, was arrested July 16 at an Elk Grove Village motel where police were called to investigate a domestic disturbance, prosecutors said. An officer encountered Scott outside the motel and observed small bags of what appeared to be marijuana and cocaine in his backpack.
While awaiting his appearance in courtroom 207 several weeks later, Scott managed to slip out of his handcuffs and make his way into a neighboring courtroom but was unable to exit, said Cook County assistant state's attorney Kristin Piper. Sheriffs deputies returned him to the lockup but he again slipped out of his handcuffs and re-entered the neighboring courtroom. This time, he exited through the courtroom's interior hallway and fled the building, Piper said.
Police found him a few hours later hiding in the trunk of a car parked in a garage on Kasper Avenue in Arlington Heights.
Had Scott gone to trial and been convicted, he faced an extended prison term based on his background, said Martin, who called the sentence an "abundantly fair offer in light of the facts."