Two murderers meticulously planned their New York state prison break, possibly sneaking out of their cells under the cover of darkness to rehearse their escape in tunnels, authorities said.
Richard Matt and David Sweat planned to drive seven hours in the night to a predetermined location, together with the woman who allegedly helped them, said Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie.
But Joyce Mitchell, who allegedly provided them with the tools to cut through prison walls, got cold feet and decided not to pick them up, he said.
Mitchell told investigators she planned to run off with the men after picking them up last week near a manhole where they’d emerge from a network of tunnels, Wylie said.
“They were going to meet down by the power plant, drive — I’m not going to say into the sunset, because it was after midnight and it was dark out — but they were going to drive, potentially to an area that was about seven hours away,” Wylie said.
But she backed out.
DA: Convicts had a destination in mind
Mitchell told authorities that Matt and Sweat picked the destination.
She did not say where the trio planned to head to after the two prisoners broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, officials said.
“That was the information that she was told by Matt and Sweat — that it was about seven hours away,” Wylie said.
After her change of heart, she began cooperating with police.
“Joyce Mitchell ditched the plan to pick up the two inmates partly because she loves her husband and she didn’t want to do this to him,” Wylie said.
She is now sitting in jail, accused of aiding in the brazen prison escape. The two convicted killers she allegedly helped are free, but on the run.
She pleaded not guilty Friday night to a felony charge of promoting prison contraband and a misdemeanor charge of criminal facilitation. Her next court appearance is Monday.
If convicted, Mitchell faces up to eight years behind bars.
SOURCE: Faith Karimi and Sara Ganim