The husband of Joyce Mitchell, the 51-year-old prison worker who allegedly helped two convicts break out of a maximum-security facility, talked to NBC News about what his wife told him after the escape.
Lyle Mitchell told Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” show that Joyce admitted to giving the prisoners tools to saw through their cells and escape from Clinton Correctional Facility through pipes and back-channels.
Joyce allegedly agreed to drive a getaway car for the duo once they popped out of a manhole beyond prison walls, but she apparently got cold feet and abandoned the plan, which also included killing or otherwise harming Lyle.
“She said: ‘I love my husband, I am not hurtin’ him’,” Lyle told NBC. “She said, ‘Then I knew I was over my head.’ … When it came down to her hurtin’ me, that’s when she said something was wrong. She said she was in too deep, she didn’t know how to get out of it.”
Joyce has been charged with criminal facilitation and promoting prison contraband. She worked in the prison tailoring shop and met the inmates there. She reportedly confessed her role in the prison break to authorities earlier this month.
Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, are still on the run. Matt was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for killing and dismembering his former boss in 1997, and Sweat was serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff’s deputy.
The two men escaped from the upstate New York prison on June 6 and up to 800 law enforcement officers have gone door to door checking houses, wooded areas, campgrounds and summer homes in the area looking for them.
Authorities suspect that Joyce had a sexual relationship with at least one of the men, but Lyle said she denied it.
“She swore on her son’s life that definitely, ‘Never have I ever had sex’ [with Matt or Sweat],” Lyle told NBC.
Joyce also reportedly told him that Matt gave her pills that would knock Lyle out so Joyce could flee with the convicts.
Lyle said he didn’t know about the plot before the escape and that he wasn’t yet sure if he would testify against his wife. They have been married for 14 years.
He said: “Do I still love her? Yes. Am I mad? Yes. How could she do this? How could she do this to our kids?”
The full interview with Lyle is below:
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