The New York prison seamstress who helped two inmates escape, sparking a three-week manhunt, pleaded guilty Tuesday in a deal that calls for a sentence of up to seven years.
The agreement means Joyce Mitchell, 51, will not face possible additional charges for an alleged plot to kill her husband and for any sexual contact with the inmates, David Sweat and Richard Matt, prosecutors said.
Wearing a black-and-white prison jumpsuit and with her hands shackled, Mitchell answered the judge’s questions in a soft voice as she pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor.
Prosecutors said Mitchell provided chisels, hacksaw blades, a punch and screwdriver bits to inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat, and allegedly planned to drive their getaway car the night of June 6 but stood them up.
Matt, 49, was shot and killed by a tactical team of law enforcement officers in Malone, N.Y. on June 26, while Sweat was captured and shot in nearby Constable on June 28.
Mitchell’s husband, Lyle, told TODAY that after she was arrested, his wife admitted she gave the prisoners tools to saw through their cells but denied she had a sexual relationship with either of them.
The inmates wanted her to hurt him so she could flee with them, but she balked, Lyle Mitchell claimed.
“She said: ‘I love my husband, I am not hurtin’ him’,” he told TODAY. “She said, “Then I knew I was over my head.”