A man who escaped from the Hennepin County jail by breaking through a seventh-floor window pleaded guilty Wednesday and was immediately sentenced to nearly two years in a higher-level incarceration facility.
Michael F. Simon, 57, of Hopkins, was on the verge of learning his trial date when he decided to enter his plea.
His sentence of 23 months from Judge Jeannice Reding is on top of the 2 ½ years he received in December for a burglary in Edina.
Before his plea, Simon indicated to the court that he was willing to admit to the escape charge if his sentence would be concurrent with the burglary term.
Reding rejected that notion and told him his options were a trial, plead guilty and save his sentencing for further lawyerly debate or admit to the crime and serve the sentences one after the other.
About 7 a.m. on Nov. 28, Simon broke a window on the jail’s seventh floor and climbed out on the roof, still wearing his orange jail garb. He ran across the top of a skyway into a parking ramp.
He then arranged a ride from a 78-year-old woman, who picked him up at the Target store in northeast Minneapolis and drove him to her home in Little Canada. Law enforcement tracked him down there and arrested him.
Simon’s escape was the first at the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility, across the street from City Hall and kitty-corner from the Government Center, since the building opened in 2001,
His criminal history spans nearly all his adult life and includes at least 15 convictions for burglaries committed around the Twin Cities area. He was booked into the jail on Sept. 25 on suspicion of financial transaction card fraud, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
In the Edina burglary, he broke into the Institute for Orthopedics and Chiropractic and stole a credit card. He also entered another office in the same building and stole four laptop computers and numerous medals from the Minnesota Golf Association.