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Maday convicted of charges in 2009 escape

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 3:55 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 3:56 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — A bank robber was convicted Wednesday of overpowering county lawmen transporting him to a courthouse in 2009, snatching their guns and forcing one guard to hand over his pants before going on a daylong crime spree in Chicago's suburbs.

Federal jurors in Chicago convicted Robert Maday on all five counts, including escape, aggravated bank robbery and brandishing a weapon during the escape and bank heist. Maday, 42, of Elk Grove Village, faces a mandatory minimum prison term of nearly 50 years.

Maday's escape from the two guards, who were driving him to a Rolling Meadows courthouse to be sentenced for an earlier robbery conviction, sparked a pursuit that included carjackings and a bank robbery. It ended with his capture after a high-speed chase and crash.

The escape, during which Maday was supposedly handcuffed, was an embarrassment for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. It quickly moved to fire the investigators guarding Maday, accusing them of violating procedures for transporting inmates.

Defense attorney Anthony Sassan said after Wednesday's verdict that he expected to appeal aspects of the conviction, though he didn't elaborate. Either way, he said, Maday likely will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Sassan didn't dispute the escape, but said he believed there was reasonable doubt about whether Maday had a gun during the bank robbery while on the lam. Jurors' finding that he did adds more time to his potential sentence.

Escapes from custody are rare. But just last month in an unrelated case, two bank robbers who were cellmates at a high-rise jail in downtown Chicago apparently smashed a hole in a narrow cell window and climbed down about 20 stories to the street using a rope fashioned from bed sheets. They hailed a cab, fled the area and were eventually captured.

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