Jail escapee pleads guilty, immediately sent to prison


The man who broke out of the Hennepin County Jail quietly pleaded guilty to an escape charge, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Michael Simon, 57, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning as the judge and attorneys were setting his trial date for the single charge of escape from custody. He was immediately sentenced to 23 months in prison and it will be consecutive with the 30 months he received in December. That sentence was for a burglary.

During his court appearance before Hennepin County District Court Judge Jeannice Reding, Simon indicated he might be willing to plead guilty if the sentence would be 23 months concurrent with the 30 months. Judge Reding told him he could accept the plea deal with the consecutive sentence, proceed to trial or enter a straight plea to the court, where the final sentence would be argued by both sides and she would make the final decision.

She told Simon, who has a very high criminal history point total of 21, that she would make no promises on how she would rule. Simon decided to plead guilty.

On Nov. 28, Simon broke a window on the county jail’s seventh floor and climbed out on the roof. He ran across the rooftop of a skyway into a parking ramp. He was captured in Little Canada later in the day.

When it was his turn to speak, Simon apologized to the state of Minnesota and Hennepin County for what he had done.