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Cuomo: Escaped Inmates Planned to Flee to Mexico

By Staff


David Sweat

David Sweat

David Sweat, one of two inmates who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility over three weeks ago, said the pair planned to head to Mexico, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from the prison by stuffing their beds with clothing to fool guards, and using power tools to cut through a brick wall and steam pipe June 6, but had to change course when the prison tailor charged with helping them, Joyce Mitchell, didn’t show up to give them a ride, Cuomo stated.

“They would kill 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,” the governor said on “The Capitol Pressroom” radio show. “And, then they would go live happily ever after, which is a fairy tale that I wasn’t read as a child. But we all believe what we want to believe.”

When Mitchell never showed up, the pair decided to head north instead, toward Canada, Cuomo stated.

He said Sweat, 35, told officials he split from Matt, 49, five days ago, because Matt had been slowing him down.

Sweat was captured Sunday, June 28, and shot twice by a state trooper, as he tried to flee. He’s currently hospitalized, and in serious condition, in Albany.

The other inmate, Matt, was shot and killed Friday, when officials police located him near Malone, New York.

According to hospital officials, Sweat had been treated in a secure area at Albany Medical Center, and has since been released to Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York.

“The nightmare is finally over,” Cuomo stated. “We wish it didn’t happen in the first place. But if you have to have it happen, this is how you want it to end.”

Sweat, 34, had been serving a sentence of life without parole following his conviction in Broome County for one count of murder in the first degree, after he shot a Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy in 2002.

In addition, Matt, 48, had been serving a sentence of 25 years to life, following his conviction in Niagara County for three counts of murder, three counts of kidnapping, and two counts of robbery after he kidnapped a man, before beating him to death in 1997.
Authorities said they believed Sweat and Matt gathered information about hunting cabins and the fields around the prison for at least a year,  in order to help them navigate the terrain.