N.Y. prison break: Mitchell used baked goods to help killers, source says

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N.Y. prison break: Mitchell used baked goods to help killers, source says

Post by Moderator1 on Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:04 pm

N.Y. prison break: Mitchell used baked goods to help killers, source says


Cadyville, New York (CNN)For months before a pair of convicted murderers made their brazen escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility, prison tailor Joyce Mitchell used baked goods to win favors for Richard Matt and David Sweat, going so far as to ask prison officials to move the inmates' cells next to each other, a law enforcement official told CNN on Tuesday.

Among the apparent favors: asking one guard to pass frozen hamburger meat to Matt, bypassing the prison's metal detector in a violation of policy, according to the source.

Mitchell, who has been charged with aiding the escapees, has admitted she smuggled hacksaw blades into the meat, the official said. Gene Palmer, the guard on the honor block where Matt and Sweat were housed, was unaware of the meat's contents when he was asked to get it to Matt, according to Palmer's attorney Andrew Brockway, who says his client was conned by Mitchell. Palmer is now on paid leave.

At the time of their escape, Matt and Sweat were housed next to each other on the prison's honor block, which awarded inmates who showed good behavior special privileges such as having hot plates and refrigerators in their cells.

Matt, 48, and Sweat, 35, cut holes through steel cell walls, then shimmied along catwalks and through pipes before emerging from a manhole outside the prison gates and disappearing June 6.

Accused of helping the fugitives by supplying the blades, chisels, a punch and a drill bit, Mitchell is in jail and has pleaded not guilty. Her attorney did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections said Tuesday there were "a number of ongoing probes" into how the pair escaped, but she wouldn't comment on the details of those investigations.

Prison escape puts staff-inmate relationships in the spotlight

Cabin break-in; DNA discovery
The new revelations come as law enforcement officials chase the most promising lead yet in the manhunt for the pair. DNA from Matt and Sweat was found in a burglarized cabin not far from where the convicted murders broke out more than two weeks ago, a law enforcement source told CNN.

Personal items, including boots, were discovered Saturday inside the cabin in Mountain View, some 20 miles west of the prison, another law enforcement source briefed on the investigation told CNN's Deborah Feyerick.

The items left behind, and the manner in which they were left, suggest the pair were surprised and left in a hurry, according to the source.

The boots left in the cabin suggest one of the fugitives may be barefoot, the source said, possibly hindering his ability to move through the dense brush. But there may have been other boots and shoes in the cabin that were taken by the pair.

Authorities are combing the area near the cabin.

The discovery re-energized the search, now in its 18th day.

Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill told CNN that the search area is about the size of the town of Bellmont, New York, which is about 170 square miles. Authorities have flooded the area with helicopters, cruisers and all-terrain vehicles. As many as 1,000 people are working the search.

"It's very rough terrain," said Mulverhill. "It's not easy to get to, it's not easy to traverse."

Officials are also concerned that the escapees may break in to another one of the seasonal cabins, many used by hunters, and steal weapons.

Corrections officer used killers as 'sources'
Palmer is a 28-year veteran of Clinton Correctional Facility and is cooperating fully with the investigation, Brockway told CNN.

Palmer knew Matt and Sweat for years at the prison and had received a painting done by Matt, Brockway said. But he wasn't aware the inmates were planning an escape, the attorney stressed.

Palmer used Matt and Sweat as "sources" for information that he would "use to ensure the safety of his co-workers and of the facility, and of other inmates," Brockway told CNN.

"He wants these two individuals to be caught, and anything that he can do to help law enforcement do their job, he's willing to cooperate," Brockway said Monday.

Tailor's husband says he was target
Meanwhile Tuesday, the husband of Joyce Mitchell spoke for the first time publicly on his wife's role in the inmates' escape, detailing the alleged plot to kill him.

Lyle Mitchell told NBC's "Today" show that Joyce Mitchell revealed the prisoners' alleged plan to harm him him shortly after their escape. Matt allegedly told Joyce he would give her pills that would knock her husband out, so she would have no problem leaving their home to come meet him.

"She told me that Matt wanted her to pick him up," Lyle Mitchell said. But Joyce Mitchell refused to drug her husband, so the convicts got tough on her, she told him. "(Matt) started threatening her, (saying) someone inside the facility was going to do something to me, to harm me, or kill me, or somebody outside of the jail, if she didn't stay with this," Lyle Mitchell told NBC's Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview that aired Tuesday.

But not staying with the plan is precisely what authorities say happened: Joyce Mitchell didn't show up for the planned rendezvous with Matt and Sweat on June 6. Instead, she checked herself into a hospital with panic attacks. "I was in over my head," Lyle Mitchell said his wife told him. "She said she loved me but she was in too deep."

Law enforcement personnel line the roadside on June 13 as they search an area in Cadyville, New York.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement personnel line the roadside on June 13 as they search an area in Cadyville, New York.
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New York State Police prepare equipment during a search for two escaped convicts near Dannemora, New York, on Thursday, June 11.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
New York State Police prepare equipment during a search for two escaped convicts near Dannemora, New York, on Thursday, June 11.
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Authorities block a road in Cadyville, New York, during the manhunt on June 11.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Authorities block a road in Cadyville, New York, during the manhunt on June 11.
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A Vermont state trooper heads out on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, on June 11.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
A Vermont state trooper heads out on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, on June 11.
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Law enforcement officers question a woman who lives near the Dannemora prison on Wednesday, June 10.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement officers question a woman who lives near the Dannemora prison on Wednesday, June 10.
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An employee stands guard at the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 10.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
An employee stands guard at the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 10.
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An officer checks the trunk of a car at a checkpoint near the Dannemora border on June 10.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
An officer checks the trunk of a car at a checkpoint near the Dannemora border on June 10.
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Officers continue their search in Essex, New York, on Tuesday, June 9.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Officers continue their search in Essex, New York, on Tuesday, June 9.
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An officer walks through a swampy area near Essex on June 9.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
An officer walks through a swampy area near Essex on June 9.
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Law enforcement officers search a wooded area in Dannemora on Monday, June 8.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement officers search a wooded area in Dannemora on Monday, June 8.
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State corrections officers monitor traffic June 8 at the Clinton Correctional Facility.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
State corrections officers monitor traffic June 8 at the Clinton Correctional Facility.
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Corrections officers stop a vehicle Monday, June 22, in Owls Head, New York, about 20 to 25 miles west of the prison where convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped. The discovery of the escapees' DNA in a cabin has re-energized the 2-week-old search for the fugitives, who staged a movie script-worthy escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, on June 6.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Corrections officers stop a vehicle Monday, June 22, in Owls Head, New York, about 20 to 25 miles west of the prison where convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped. The discovery of the escapees' DNA in a cabin has re-energized the 2-week-old search for the fugitives, who staged a movie script-worthy escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, on June 6.
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A bus transports corrections officers to a search area in Mountain View, New York, on June 22.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
A bus transports corrections officers to a search area in Mountain View, New York, on June 22.
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Law enforcement officers use all-terrain vehicles in Mountain View on June 22.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement officers use all-terrain vehicles in Mountain View on June 22.
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Corrections officers search railroad tracks near Friendship, New York, on Sunday, June 21, after a possible sighting of the fugitives.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Corrections officers search railroad tracks near Friendship, New York, on Sunday, June 21, after a possible sighting of the fugitives.
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New York State Police officers gather along Route 20 near Friendship on June 21. About 300 law enforcement officers have searched the area.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
New York State Police officers gather along Route 20 near Friendship on June 21. About 300 law enforcement officers have searched the area.
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A task force of U.S. Marshals and police officers go door to door searching for the two escaped murderers on Tuesday, June 16, outside Dannemora, New York.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
A task force of U.S. Marshals and police officers go door to door searching for the two escaped murderers on Tuesday, June 16, outside Dannemora, New York.
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Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat escaped June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility, which is in Dannemora. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/06/us/gallery/new-york-escapees/index.html" target="_blank">See photos of the route they took</a>
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat escaped June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility, which is in Dannemora. See photos of the route they took
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New York State Troopers stop civilian cars at a checkpoint on Monday, June 15, outside Dannemora, New York.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
New York State Troopers stop civilian cars at a checkpoint on Monday, June 15, outside Dannemora, New York.
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Prison tailor Joyce Mitchell, charged with aiding the escape, appeared in court on Monday, June 15.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Prison tailor Joyce Mitchell, charged with aiding the escape, appeared in court on Monday, June 15.
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Department of Corrections officers work a roadblock in Saranac, New York, on Saturday, June 13.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Department of Corrections officers work a roadblock in Saranac, New York, on Saturday, June 13.
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Law enforcement personnel line the roadside on June 13 as they search an area in Cadyville, New York.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement personnel line the roadside on June 13 as they search an area in Cadyville, New York.
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11 of 21
New York State Police prepare equipment during a search for two escaped convicts near Dannemora, New York, on Thursday, June 11.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
New York State Police prepare equipment during a search for two escaped convicts near Dannemora, New York, on Thursday, June 11.
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12 of 21
Authorities block a road in Cadyville, New York, during the manhunt on June 11.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Authorities block a road in Cadyville, New York, during the manhunt on June 11.
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13 of 21
A Vermont state trooper heads out on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, on June 11.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
A Vermont state trooper heads out on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, on June 11.
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14 of 21
Law enforcement officers question a woman who lives near the Dannemora prison on Wednesday, June 10.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement officers question a woman who lives near the Dannemora prison on Wednesday, June 10.
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15 of 21
An employee stands guard at the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 10.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
An employee stands guard at the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 10.
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16 of 21
An officer checks the trunk of a car at a checkpoint near the Dannemora border on June 10.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
An officer checks the trunk of a car at a checkpoint near the Dannemora border on June 10.
Hide Caption
17 of 21
Officers continue their search in Essex, New York, on Tuesday, June 9.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Officers continue their search in Essex, New York, on Tuesday, June 9.
Hide Caption
18 of 21
An officer walks through a swampy area near Essex on June 9.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
An officer walks through a swampy area near Essex on June 9.
Hide Caption
19 of 21
Law enforcement officers search a wooded area in Dannemora on Monday, June 8.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement officers search a wooded area in Dannemora on Monday, June 8.
Hide Caption
20 of 21
State corrections officers monitor traffic June 8 at the Clinton Correctional Facility.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
State corrections officers monitor traffic June 8 at the Clinton Correctional Facility.
Hide Caption
21 of 21
Corrections officers stop a vehicle Monday, June 22, in Owls Head, New York, about 20 to 25 miles west of the prison where convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped. The discovery of the escapees' DNA in a cabin has re-energized the 2-week-old search for the fugitives, who staged a movie script-worthy escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, on June 6.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Corrections officers stop a vehicle Monday, June 22, in Owls Head, New York, about 20 to 25 miles west of the prison where convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped. The discovery of the escapees' DNA in a cabin has re-energized the 2-week-old search for the fugitives, who staged a movie script-worthy escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, on June 6.
Hide Caption
1 of 21
A bus transports corrections officers to a search area in Mountain View, New York, on June 22.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
A bus transports corrections officers to a search area in Mountain View, New York, on June 22.
Hide Caption
2 of 21
Law enforcement officers use all-terrain vehicles in Mountain View on June 22.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement officers use all-terrain vehicles in Mountain View on June 22.
Hide Caption
3 of 21
Corrections officers search railroad tracks near Friendship, New York, on Sunday, June 21, after a possible sighting of the fugitives.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Corrections officers search railroad tracks near Friendship, New York, on Sunday, June 21, after a possible sighting of the fugitives.
Hide Caption
4 of 21
New York State Police officers gather along Route 20 near Friendship on June 21. About 300 law enforcement officers have searched the area.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
New York State Police officers gather along Route 20 near Friendship on June 21. About 300 law enforcement officers have searched the area.
Hide Caption
5 of 21
A task force of U.S. Marshals and police officers go door to door searching for the two escaped murderers on Tuesday, June 16, outside Dannemora, New York.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
A task force of U.S. Marshals and police officers go door to door searching for the two escaped murderers on Tuesday, June 16, outside Dannemora, New York.
Hide Caption
6 of 21
Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat escaped June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility, which is in Dannemora. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/06/us/gallery/new-york-escapees/index.html" target="_blank">See photos of the route they took</a>
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat escaped June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility, which is in Dannemora. See photos of the route they took
Hide Caption
7 of 21
New York State Troopers stop civilian cars at a checkpoint on Monday, June 15, outside Dannemora, New York.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
New York State Troopers stop civilian cars at a checkpoint on Monday, June 15, outside Dannemora, New York.
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8 of 21
Prison tailor Joyce Mitchell, charged with aiding the escape, appeared in court on Monday, June 15.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Prison tailor Joyce Mitchell, charged with aiding the escape, appeared in court on Monday, June 15.
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9 of 21
Department of Corrections officers work a roadblock in Saranac, New York, on Saturday, June 13.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Department of Corrections officers work a roadblock in Saranac, New York, on Saturday, June 13.
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10 of 21
Law enforcement personnel line the roadside on June 13 as they search an area in Cadyville, New York.
Manhunt for escaped New York prisoners 21 photos
Law enforcement personnel line the roadside on June 13 as they search an area in Cadyville, New York.



Had she kept the date, she'd be dead now, Lyle Mitchell believes. And he might be, too.

He still loves his wife, though he's mad at her, Mitchell said. But support her? "As of right now, I don't know what to think," he said.

Both of the Mitchells worked at the prison in its tailoring block, and investigators said Joyce Mitchell, 51, had a sexual relationship with Matt. Lyle Mitchell didn't know about that relationship, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said.


http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/23/us/new-york-prison-break/


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