David Sweat Says Prison Guard Gene Palmer Not Involved in Escape: Prosecutor

by Tracy Connor /  / Updated 

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New York prison escapee David Sweat has told investigators that the only worker involved in the breakout was seamstress Joyce Mitchell, a prosecutor said Monday.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie offered that detail after a second prison employee arrested in connection with the escape, corrections officer Gene Palmer, made a court appearance.

Palmer is said to have been the courier Mitchell used to deliver frozen ground meat — hiding hacksaw blades — to Sweat and fellow lifer Richard Matt.

Palmer, 57, is charged with providing other tools to the duo in exchange for some of Matt's artwork, according to court papers.

Image: Gene Palmer
Gene Palmer is escorted from Plattsburgh Town Court on June 24.Rob Fountain/Staff Photo / AP

The guard has denied any advance knowledge of the escape plot that put the convicted murderers on the run for three weeks and ended with Matt being shot dead and Sweat being wounded and captured.

And, according to Wylie, Sweat has not told investigators anything different.

RELATED: N.Y. Prison Escapee David Sweat Tells Officials Plan Was to Go to Mexico

"From what I understand in reviewing the reports today, he told investigators that Palmer had no involvement in the escape. It was just him and Mitchell and Matt," the DA said.

While Mitchell is still behind bars, Palmer is free on bail. He remained silent in court on Monday while his attorney waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the evidence against him.

The case is being transferred to county court and Wylie said he expects to present it to a grand jury within a few weeks.

Palmer's new attorney declined to comment on the allegations outside Plattsburgh Town Court.

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