Former prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell arrived at an upstate New York courthouse on Monday, with her hands and feet shackled, to be sentenced for helping two convicts escape with tools smuggled in hamburger meat.
Mitchell, 51, pleaded guilty in a deal that allowed her to sidestep charges for an alleged plot to kill her husband and for any sexual contact with the inmates, David Sweat and Richard Matt.
The felony contraband charge carries a sentence of 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison, but Mitchell’s lawyer has said she is unlikely to be locked up for more than four years with time off for good behavior.
Matt and Sweat broke out of the Clinton County Correctional Facility on June 6 by cutting through walls and pipes with tools supplied by Mitchell, who says she fell under their sway and then was too scared to refuse their demands.
In an exclusive interview with TODAY, Mitchell said the two men — both serving life for murder — wanted her to meet them after the escape with a getaway car.
“I was supposed to come up and park by the manhole that they were gonna be coming out of. And I was supposed to pretend that I was making a phone call while they were coming out,” she said.
“I was supposed to bring clothes for them. I was supposed to bring a tent. I was supposed to bring a shotgun.”
Mitchell said she didn’t show up because she believed that they planned to kill her and her husband, Lyle, before taking off.
After a three-week manhunt, Matt was shot dead while on the run, and Sweat was shot and captured two days after that.
Mitchell’s husband, Lyle, said he is standing by her and will wait for her to serve her sentence..
“My wife has a heart of gold,” he told TODAY. “That’s her biggest downfall.”
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com