Joyce Mitchell, Woman Who Helped NY Murderers Escape, Talks About How She First Became Involved With Inmates

Ex-New York prison worker Joyce Mitchell (Photo: Pool)
Ex-New York prison worker Joyce Mitchell (Photo: Pool)

A New York prison seamstress who admitted aiding the brazen escape of two inmates from a maximum security prison in June says she “flirted” with one of the men but that there was never any love or consensual sex.

“There was never any actual sexual intercourse,” Joyce Mitchell told NBC News’ TODAY show in an interview aired Monday. “Mr. Matt had grabbed me a couple times and kissed me. And then there was one point where he had, he wanted me to perform oral sex on him. And I said no. And when I said no, he grabbed my head and pushed me down.”

Mitchell, 51, pleaded guilty in July to criminal facilitation and promoting prison contraband for aiding the escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. She faces up to seven years in prison at sentencing Sept. 28.

The escape June 6 touched off a massive three-week manhunt that ended with Matt, 48, being fatally shot by a law enforcement officer. Sweat, 34, was shot two days later, but survived and was returned to prison.

Mitchell told to TODAY that she first became involved with the inmates at a time when she felt her husband didn’t love her any more.

“I was going through a depression, and I guess they saw my weakness. And that’s how it all started,” she said. “Their attention made me feel good.”

Her first gifts were innocuous — brownies and other treats.  Later she brought them a drill bit, saw blades and a metal punch. She said her bag was supposed to be checked when she went into the prison, but that it never was.

Matt “actually had told me at one point they had found a toolbox. And Mr. Sweat picked the lock and they found power tools in it,” she said.

But she said she continued aiding the men to protect her family. Matt planned to kill her husband Lyle, she said.

Mitchell says she was supposed to drive the men to freedom after they escaped through a pipe that ran outside the prison walls, but she didn’t go through with the plan.

“I am so sorry for everything that everyone went through because of me. I never, never wanted this to ever happen. Never. I would take it all back, if I could,” she said. “I’m not the monster that everybody thinks I am. I’m really not. I’m just somebody that got caught up in something that she couldn’t get out of.”

SOURCE: John Bacon

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