`Batman` director`s brother pleads guilty to jailbreak plot

Updated: Apr 30, 2010, 13:15 PM IST

Chicago: The brother of `Dark Knight` director Christopher Nolan today pleaded guilty to trying to escape from a federal lock up here by using bed sheets to make a 31-feet long rope.

Matthew Nolan, 41, said he hatched the plan to escape his possible extradition to Costa Rica where he is facing homicide and kidnapping charges.

Nolan is being held at the high-rise federal jail Metropolitan Correctional Center in the city`s downtown. He pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of possessing contraband in the institution and one count of obstruction of justice.

Nolan hid his improvised rope, a makeshift harness and a metal clip for unlocking handcuffs in the mattress of his cell, and hid a razor in a bar of soap. He admitted he hatched his escape plot while he awaited extradition to Costa Rica.

"If they get me down to the Southern Cross, I won`t be coming back," Nolan said in his signed plea agreement, using a code word to refer to the Central American country.

Nolan is the brother of Christopher Nolan, who directed and wrote the latest Batman blockbuster `The Dark Knight` starring Oscar-winning late actor Heath Ledger.

He was being investigated by Chicago Police last year for an alleged 700,000 dollar bank-fraud scheme when they learned that the FBI was seeking him for the 2005 kidnapping and murder of Florida businessman Robert Cohen.

Nolan was arrested in March 2009 and was since being held in jail awaiting extradition proceedings by Costa Rican authorities.

He is said to have pretended he was interested in doing business in Costa Rica when he met Cohen in a hotel. An accomplice kidnapped Cohen and the men tried to extort the
money from Cohen`s family but when that failed, they killed Cohen.

Nolan also pleaded guilty to an obstruction of justice scheme wherein he called an unnamed female friend from jail.

Assistant US Attorney Michael Chmelar told the judge that Nolan communicated with the unnamed individual in writing about his plan to try to escape from the MCC, using coded language that referred to the escape idea as a "beach party".

Nolan is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22 and faces 12-18 months for the escape plot and obstruction of justice charges. He would have to complete his sentence here before he is extradited, prosecutors said.

Nolan also has been investigated in a scam that allegedly saw him promise rides in the Batmobile while his brother`s film was shooting here.

PTI

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