Joyce Mitchell Sentenced: Prison Seamstress Cries Upon Learning She’s Going To Jail For Aiding Escapees
Joyce Mitchell, the prison seamstress who helped two convicted murders escape from a New York prison earlier this year, has been sentenced to jail time for her crimes.
Joyce Mitchell Sentenced
Mitchell, 51, per a plea deal, was expected to receive jail time during her sentencing. However, she attempted to convince Judge Kevin Ryan to offer her a more lenient sentencing, suggesting that she wear an ankle monitor instead of heading to prison.
“If I could take it all back I would,” Mitchell said, on the verge of tears. “I live with regret every day and will for the rest of my life.”
Mitchell went on to suggest that the only reason why she started to help Clinton Correctional Facility inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt was because they had threatened her family. She also claimed that she was meant to further assist them in their escape, but could not go through with it.
“I’m hoping you will have mercy on me,” Mitchell said to Ryan.
Ryan, however, was unmoved by Mitchell’s pleas and sentenced her to up seven years in jail for first-degree promoting prison contraband, a felony. She will serve her sentence for fourth-degree misdemeanor criminal facilitation concurrently.
“A large portion of the local population were terrorized. Many were forced to flee their homes. Some did not not have places to go, and had to rent hotel rooms or leave the area. Many residents did not sleep for many nights, afraid that these two extremely violent individuals might be outside their homes,” Ryan said. “Law enforcement officers came here not just from across New York state, but from all over the country. They traversed very inhospitable territory, never knowing if the next step they took in deeply wooded areas might be their last. And think of their families at home, sick with concern and fright for their loved ones. At any time, you could have stopped the escape from happening.”
In addition to jail time, Mitchell has to pay $6,375 in fines. She plans to fight an additional fine of $119,762 the state is demanding for costs incurred from Sweat and Matt’s prison break.
Back in June, Mitchell, who is alleged to have carried on an affair with at least one of the escapees, supplied them with a drill bit and hacksaws, which she smuggled into the jail in meat. With the supplies she provided, Sweat and Matt were able to cut holes in their cells and through underground pipes, and ultimately escape through a manhole.
Three weeks after the escape, police shot and killed Matt. Two days later, they were able to recapture Sweat alive.