Throwing Away the Key

A talented escape artist and con man gets more prison time. Will he serve it?

"And sometimes that's just as bad as having someone put a gun in your face," said Weeks.

Since she proved that Russell had at least two other convictions for felonies, Weeks got Russell sentenced under the state's tough habitual criminal statute. Still, the seven-woman, five-man jury had the latitude to give Russell as little as 25 years in prison. Instead, they brought down the hammer. Russell, according to his attorneys at the State Counsel for Offenders office, won't be eligible for parole until he serves at least a quarter of the 45-year sentence he was already serving, and then 15 more years of the new 99-year sentence.

So the wizard of prison walkouts seems to be staring at a life -- or at least the best portion of it -- behind bars. But of course, Steven Russell's next bewitching hour -- Friday the 13th -- arrives in October.

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