Joyce Mitchell Pleads Guilty To Helping Murderers Escape NY Prison, Details Sexual Affair With Richard Matt
Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker who helped convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility, pleaded guilty on Tuesday for her part in the escape.
Joyce Mitchell Pleads Guilty For Role In NY Prison Break
Mitchell could face up to seven years in jail for charges of promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitation and will be sentenced in September. Mitchell worked as a supervisor in the prison’s tailor shop, where both Matt and Sweat worked, and has admitted to being complicit in their escape.
Newly released statements Mitchell gave to the police in June outline her role in the daring escape, which began Friday, June 5, and ended in the death of Matt on June 26, and the capture of Sweat on June 28. In her statements, Mitchell admitted to smuggling in contraband for Matt and Sweat, including tools hidden in frozen hamburger meat. “Each time he would ask me for a tool, I would go to the store and get them,” she told police on June 8.
Joyce Mitchell Describes Sexual Relationship With Richard Matt
In her statements, Mitchell detailed a sexual relationship with Matt and a sort of flirtation with Sweat. “Inmate Matt and I got along well.… We talked every day and he treated me with respect and was nice to me. He made me feel special,” Mitchell told investigators.
Mitchell and Matt began developing a friendship last year, but the prison worker claimed it became sexual in April, around the time Matt began asking Mitchell to bring him tools. In the months that followed, Mitchell smuggled in hacksaws and chisels, under the guise that they wanted to make frames and paintings at night. It wasn’t until May that Matt informed Mitchell of their plans to escape. “Inmate Matt was coming into work tired. I asked him about sleeping, and he said he was up all night. After a couple of days he told me he and Inmate Sweat had cut the holes and were going down in the pipes,” she said.
“Matt told me they were getting out and we were all going to be together,” Mitchell added.
Mitchell also came clean about the original escape plan that featured her as a getaway driver. Once Matt and David escaped from the prison, Mitchell had planned to meet them with her Jeep, a gun, a GPS, money and other tools and materials. Matt was then going to kill her husband, Lyle Mitchell. “After I picked them up, the plan was to drive to my home and Inmate Matt was going to kill ‘the glitch’ [Lyle],” Mitchell recounted.
Mitchell then planned to run off with Sweat and Mitchell, driving about 6 hours before abandoning the car and camping out in the forest. The plan was to lay low for a week and then go their separate ways, with Matt leaving Mitchell with Sweat. “I believe I helped inmate Matt and Inmate Sweat escape because I was caught up in the fantasy. I enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me, and the thought of a different life,” Mitchell said.
As has previously been reported, Mitchell suffered a panic attack on the day of the escape and told police she had a change of heart. Mitchell apologized for her actions in court, telling the judge, “I am really sorry for what I have done.”
A handful of Clinton Correctional Facility employees are currently on administrative leave as the investigation into the escape continues.