Had everything gone as planned, prison escapees David Sweat and Richard Matt would have killed the husband of a prison worker before fleeing with her to Mexico, officials said.
Those are some of the details Sweat divulged to investigators from his hospital room in Albany, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
“They would kill (tailor Joyce) Mitchell’s husband, and then get in the car and drive to Mexico on the theory that Mitchell was in love with one or both of them,” Cuomo told “The Capitol Pressroom” radio program. “And then they would go live happily ever after.”
Instead, Sweat is in serious condition after suffering two gunshot wounds during his capture in upstate New York. And Matt is dead after he was shot by police miles away.
The duo’s plan went awry the moment they popped out of a manhole near the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6 — and discovered that Mitchell, who was supposed to be their getaway driver, didn’t show up, Cuomo said.
And that started a bizarre, improvised 22-day journey that almost ended with the escapees in Canada — not Mexico.
Sweat, 35, and Matt, 49, stuck together for more than two weeks, Cuomo said. But eventually, Matt became a burden to the younger, more athletic fugitive.
“Sweat felt that Matt was slowing him down,” Cuomo said. “Now we know that Matt had blisters on his feet because we found bloody socks. So that’s possibly a reason Matt was slowing him down. And also Sweat was a younger man, and he was fit.”
So about six days ago, Sweat left Matt behind. Police caught up with and killed Matt on Friday in Malone, New York, while Sweat made it within two miles of the Canadian border before he was captured Sunday.
Camouflage, maps and Pop-Tarts
For a pair of prison escapees, Matt and Sweat were surprisingly well equipped when they were found.
Both men were wearing camouflage. Matt was dressed in dark brown pants, a dark green jacket, and heavy boots when he was shot, Franklin County Coroner Brian Langdon told CNN.
“He was dressed for the woods,” Langdon said. “He would blend right in if he stood still.”
Matt’s clothing was not torn or ragged, though Langdon recalled an odor of stale blood.
“I thought he was kind of well kept for somebody who’s been living in the woods for 20 some odd days,” Langdon said.
Matt may have stolen clothing or other supplies from a cabin in Mountain View, New York, where his DNA was found.
After Matt was killed, authorities could smell alcohol on his body from a few feet away, a law enforcement source briefed on the investigation said.
Evidence suggests Matt had been ill, possibly from contaminated food or water, the source said.
When Sweat was captured, he had a backpack full of supplies, Cuomo told CNN’s “New Day.”
“He had maps, he had a certain amount of tools, he had bug repellent, he had wipes, he had Pop-Tarts,” he said.
It’s not clear whether Sweat acquired those supplies before his escape, or if he stole or collected them while on the run.
SOURCE: Holly Yan and Dana Ford