Former prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell who helped two convicted murderers escape a New York prison has pled guilty to “ . . . bringing contraband into the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, a felony, and to criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor, in a deal that spares her from more serious charges.”
Mitchell turned herself in to authorities after she backed out of being the prisoners getaway driver on June 6, 2015. When Mitchell failed to show up at the rendezvous, prisoners David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt,48, were forced to flee on foot. This led to the longest prison break in the history of Clinton Correctional Facility. The two fugitives were on the lam for three weeks. Richard Matt was shot and killed on June 26, 2015 and David Sweat was shot and captured alive two days later.
It had been rumored that Joyce Mitchell had sex with both prisoners while they worked together in the prison tailor shop sewing Metro North uniforms. However, Mitchell and her husband adamantly denied it. Lyle Mitchell said on national television that, “She swore on her son’s life that definitely, ‘Never have I ever had sex’ [with Matt or Sweat].” However, three voluntary statements given by Mitchell dated June 7th, 8th and 10th have been released and in them she confesses to having multiple sexual encounters with the prisoners.
She stated, “Inmate [Richard] 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.” She claims that she gave Matt oral gratification, squeezing his groin and kissing him on multiple occasions because she was “scared for her husband.”
“ . . . Inmate [Richard] Matt grabbed me and kissed me. It startled me. He kissed me with an open mouth kiss. I didn’t say anything because I was scared for my husband who also works in the facility. . . Inmate Matt told me to “________.” I was scared. He pulled his ___ out and I put my mouth on it for maybe a minute. He did not ejaculate. We left and went back to Tailor 1. After this, Inmate Matt would come over to my desk, with his big coat on. He asked me to squeeze his ____. He had cut a hole in the inside of his coat pocket and had it sticking in his pocket. He told me to pretend I was going to give him a piece of candy and reach into his coat pocket and squeeze his ___ really hard. This happened 2 or 3 times.”
Although she claims in her June 7th statement that she did not have a sexual relationship with David Sweat on June 10th she stated that she sent David Sweat steamy notes and planned to be alone with him after they escaped.“ . . .I had passed notes to Inmate [Richard] Matt to give to Inmate [David] Sweat. Some of those notes were of a sexual nature, but I never had any sexual contact with Inmate Sweat, only Inmate Matt. I did take some naked photos of my breasts and vagina and gave them to Inmate Matt, to give to Sweat. I do not know what they did with the photos.” After they escaped together, Mitchell described their future plans, “ We were going to stay at this place for about a week, until it quieted down. After it quieted down, Inmate Matt would go off by himself, and Inmate [David] Sweat and I would be together.”
The 51-year-old grandmother stated that she had two pills in her home which she was going to use to knock out her husband. She did not know what the pills were, only that they were small and round. She flushed them down the toilet after abandoning her plans to run away with the two prisoners. Mitchell said in her statement, “ . . . Inmate [Richard] Matt gave me two pills to drug my husband Lyle with. I took the pills home and put them in a drawer, next to the medicine cabinet, in my bathroom. I forgot about the pills since I did not go through with the original plan. Sometime this week, since I have been speaking with the police, I took the pills and flushed them down the toilet. I do know what the pills were and can only describe them as small round pills.”
Mitchell also acknowledged that she gave Matt and Sweat various tools to dig a tunnel out of the prison. She smuggled hacksaw blades in frozen meat and bought the inmates gloves, a chisel bit, eyewear with lights and a metal punch. She also called Matt’s daughter to check in on her for him.
Mitchell said that she was sorry for what she had done and explained,“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 will be sentenced next month and faces up to seven years behind bars.