Joyce Mitchell — the prison worker who helped two inmates escape a maximum-security lock-up — has spoken out in a new interview with the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer.
The 51-year-old prison seamstress pleaded guilty in July to helping convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
The two inmates were on the run for more than three weeks before police shot and killed Matt and captured Sweat not far from the prison.
Mitchell told Lauer that she got “in over her head” with the plot. She has previously told investigators that she performed oral sex on Matt before the escape and sent x-rated selfies to Sweat, according to NBC News.
“I was going through a point in my life — a lot of people go through depression,” Mitchell told the “Today” show. “A lot of people go through that. And I just got in over my head. And I couldn’t get out. And I couldn’t tell anybody. I couldn’t tell my husband. Couldn’t tell my family. I couldn’t tell my coworkers. I couldn’t tell anybody. There’s nobody you can tell.”
When Lauer asked her if she felt like Matt had “complete control” over her, Mitchell responded: “Yes. He was good at that.”
The full interview with Mitchell will air next Monday and Friday on the “Today” show and during a two-hour “Dateline” special next Friday on NBC.
Mitchell was supposed to be a getaway driver for the inmates, but she eventually got cold feet and failed to show up after Matt and Sweat escaped. She is now awaiting sentencing in the case.
NBC News obtained police documents in July that provided a look into Mitchell’s mindset. She reportedly told police that she knew Matt and Sweat planned to kill her husband and make their getaway with her, and that she was “caught up in the fantasy.”
Mitchell told police that the prisoners told her to drug her husband, whom they called “the glitch,” so that they could carry out their plot to kill him, according to NBC.
Matt eventually started asking Mitchell to bring him items that he and Sweat would eventually use to break out of the prison, Mitchell reportedly told police. She reportedly said she brought them padded gloves, glasses with lights on them, a screwdriver-type bit, and hacksaw blades. They then found a box of power tools that helped them saw through underground piping to escape into a manhole outside of prison walls.
Mitchell detailed the plan to investigators: “These two pills were intended to knock Lyle out so I could leave the house. After Lyle was asleep, I was supposed to drive to Dannemora and meet them by the powerhouse. The agreed upon meeting time was midnight. I was to drive my Jeep and bring my mobile phone, gps, clothes, a gun, tents, sleeping bags, hatchet, fishing poles and money from a package I never picked up.”
She said she backed out because she loves her husband.
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