Lyle Mitchell, husband of prison worker Joyce Mitchell who allegedly helped Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from a NY prison, broke his silence in a new interview with Today.

Lyle Mitchell Speaks Out

Mitchell gave his first interview following the arrest of his wife, Joyce, who was charged with criminal facilitation following the escape of convicted killers Matt and Sweat, on Tuesday, June 23.

Mitchell has denied any knowledge of the prison escape plot, and described to Today how he found out about his wife’s involvement, saying it was an investigator who broke the news that his wife was hiding something. After bringing Joyce in for questioning, an investigator took Mitchell aside and told him, “Mr. Mitchell, your wife was more involved than she’s letting on.”

Mitchell told Today’s Matt Lauer that it was then he learned that his wife allegedly snuck tools into the Clinton Correctional Facility, including hacksaw blades and a chisel, for Matt. On the drive home, Mitchell said, he confronted his wife, who admitted to her role in the escape and informed him of the secret plot to kill him: “She said, ‘I got something else to tell you… Their plan was, they want to kill you.’ I said, ‘What?’”

Mitchell confirmed that his wife had told Matt and Sweat she would pick them up from the manhole outside of the prison.

“She told me that Matt wanted her to pick him up, and she said, ‘Well, I never leave nowhere without Lyle, never.’ And, uh, he said, ‘Well, I’ll give you some pills to give him to knock him out and then you can come pick us up. She said, ‘I am not doing that.’ She said, ‘I love my husband. I am not hurting him,’” Mitchell said.

Joyce then told her husband that she realized she was “in over [her] head” and tried to get out of it. She claimed that Matt threatened to hurt her husband with or without her involvement. “And then she told me he started threatening her [that] somebody inside the facilities was going to do something to me to harm me or kill me, or somebody outside the jail, if she didn’t stay with this,” Mitchell recounted.

When pressed about Joyce’s rumored affair with Matt, and the previous investigation of Joyce’s relationship with Sweat, Mitchell said he believed his wife when she told him she had not had sex with either inmate. “She swore on her son’s life that definitely, ‘Never have I ever had sex’ [with Matt or Sweat],” Mitchell insisted.

Mitchell repeatedly expressed his shock at discovering his wife’s betrayal, saying that until the prison escape, their marriage seemed “excellent” and insisted that they were together constantly. “We never fight,” he said.

Mitchell said he still loves his wife and doesn’t believe she would have ever gone through with a plan to kill. “She said, she would have never gone through with it. That’s what she told me, that she really loved me and she was in too deep,” he said.

As to whether or not Mitchell will testify against his wife when the time comes, Mitchell admitted that he wasn’t sure what he is going to do: “As of right now, I don’t know what to think. I do not know.”

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