Charge dropped in prision escape; New pics of other escapee

Federal prosecutors have dropped a charge against the man who used bed sheets to escape from a downtown Chicago prison a few weeks ago.

Joseph “Jose” Banks faces a maximum of 80 years for holding up two banks and trying to rob two others.

Banks and fellow inmate Kenneth Conley escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center on December 18, rappelling 15 stories to the ground below.. Banks was caught a few days later.

Prosecutors say Banks changed attorneys several times, following his arrest in

2008 in hopes of delaying his trial.

Since they’re trying to obtain the stiffest sentence possible, they can use the escape as “aggravation” at Banks’ sentencing for the bank robberies, which could help solidify their case.

The escape charge, by comparison, carries only a maximum of five additional years in prison.

kenneth-conleyMeanwhile, the FBI has issued new photos of Conley, who remains at large

Conley has a devil tattoo on his upper right arm and a sun tattoo on his back.

The FBI says Conley likes California and has ties to the southeast United States.

The bureau is offering a reward up to $50,000 for information leading to his  apprehension.

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