Jail breaker who stole guard uniform guilty in bank heists

A man accused of breaking out of the Cook County Jail wearing a stolen guard’s uniform was convicted Monday of robbing five banks in Chicago’s LoopĆ¹including one heist while wearing the lifted uniform.

Randy Rencher, 39, looked on blank faced as the jury convicted him after only two hours of deliberation. Prosecutors said he faces a potential sentence of 32 years to life in federal prison when he is sentenced Sept. 26. Rencher admitted three times that he was the robber, witnesses said. Police found a money wrapper from one of the robberies in his room, along with $6,000, and Rencher’s picture was captured on bank video. Victimized bank tellers also took the stand to identify him. "They were very clear that they had seen the bank robber, had memorized his face and were able to identify him," Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Siskel, who prosecuted the case along with Assistant U.S. Attorney M. David Weisman, told reporters after the verdict. Defense attorney Robert Clarke urged jurors to ignore such matters. "Although facts are stubborn things, they often have a deeper significance," Clarke told jurors in his opening statement. "There are deeper human mysteries than facts." Despite the large collection of evidence, Clarke maintained that Rencher obtained the $6,000 by selling drugs. While Rencher was arrested with cocaine in his room, he was not charged with selling drugs. Rencher was convicted of five counts of bank robbery, two counts of using a firearm during a bank robbery and one count of possessing cocaine. The jury acquitted him of a lone firearms count. Rencher still faces charges stemming from an incident in which he took a busload of federal prisoners hostage. He was not subdued in that case until a marshal used a Taser stun gun on him. During the trial, Rencher appeared in the courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit with his leg irons chained to two massive weights. The weights were beneath the defense table and screened from the eyes of the jury by a black cloth. (AP) ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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