Prison worker Joyce Mitchell is in custody, accused of aiding in a daring prison escape. The two convicted killers she allegedly helped are free, but on the run.
Mitchell allegedly provided Richard Matt and David Sweat with the tools to cut through cell walls for their escape from an upstate New York prison a week ago.
“The defendant did intentionally … and unlawfully introduce hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch and a screwdriver bit, dangerous contraband, into Clinton Correctional Facility,” court records said.
Mitchell allegedly brought the items to the prison on May 1.
She was arraigned Friday night on a felony charge of promoting prison contraband and a misdemeanor charge of criminal facilitation. She pleaded not guilty.
If convicted, she faces up to eight years behind bars.
Convict made her feel ‘special’
Matt and Sweat’s escape was discovered during an early morning bed check at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.
While making their escape, they slipped through holes and cut into a steel plate and a steam pipe, then got out through a manhole and onto the street.
And Mitchell had a lot to do with their ability to plan out the daring escape, authorities said.
She supplied tools used in the escape and was their possible getaway driver before she got cold feet, authorities said. Her cell phone was also used to make calls to people connected to Matt, according to a source. It’s not known who made these calls.
Mitchell has told investigators that Matt made her feel “special” though she didn’t say she was in love with him, a source familiar with the investigation said.
Her husband and prison co-worker, Lyle Mitchell, is also under investigation, but has not been arrested or charged, authorities said. He worked in the maintenance department at the tailoring block where his spouse was employed, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said.
Lyle Mitchell has worked at the prison since 2005, most recently as an industrial training supervisor, the same title his wife held.