Testimony continues in trial of 2009 jail escapee

January 3, 2013 2:48:03 PM PST
Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of serial bank robber Robert Maday. He escaped from custody in 2009 and spent 27 hours on the loose in the Chicago suburbs.

It was an escape from custody that led to a huge manhunt across the northwest suburbs. Maday's attorneys seemed to argue Thursday that, since no one was seriously hurt, perhaps the punishment shouldn't be too severe.

But that was not the feeling jurors got after hearing from a woman who was carjacked: "It was one of the scariest moments of my life."

Domenica Pischetola came face to face with a felon on the run.

Maday was being driven to a court hearing in September of 2009 by two Cook County state's attorney investigators when he stole their guns and got free.

Thursday, Pischetola testified Maday was the man who carjacked and tried to kidnap her in Hoffman Estates.

Pischetola told ABC7, "He says, 'Look lady, I don't want to hurt you, just get in the car.' And I said, 'I'm not going anywhere with you.'

"I know what happens to people who get in a car: What, so I can get killed? Raped? Tortured? No! If he was going to kill me at least they'll find my body. That's what I thought to myself."

During 27 hours on the run, Maday is accused of robbing the same Buffalo Grove bank branch that landed him in custody in the first place.

Also on the stand Thursday: Joe Fallon, one of the two state's attorney investigators transporting Maday when he escaped.

Fallon testified, "[Maday] had my gun in his hand...threatening...'I'll shoot you or kill you both.'"

Maday's brief taste of freedom ended in West Chicago after he crashed Domenica Pischetola's stolen Jetta. Police found $30,000 inside.

Pischetola said she hopes her testimony sends Maday away for a long time.

"I was more afraid to be in the same room, to look at him," said Pischetola. "Now it's over. Hopefully he's going to be in jail a very long time and I don't have to worry about him anymore."

It is still unclear how Maday managed to wiggle out of his leg irons, waist shackles, and handcuffs and get a hold of the Cook County investigator's gun.

One of the investigators testified Thursday, but the other one is not on prosecutors' witness list. A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office wouldn't explain the reason.