Kenneth Conley, the convict who made a daring escape with another prisoner from a downtown federal jail last month, pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning.
The escape charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250.000 fine.
Conley, who was awaiting sentencing for a 2011 bank robbery in Homewood, escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Dec. 18. Conley and his cellmate, Joseph Banks, removed a cinder block in their cell and scaled 15 stories down the façade of the building with a rope made of bed sheets.
Banks was caught a few days later, Conley was on the run for 18 days before he was caught in the south suburbs.
Conley appeared in federal court in a wheelchair again. He sustained injuries while on the run.
Conley also faces a maximum 20 years in prison for bank robbery.