Joyce Mitchell, Worker Charged With Helping Inmates Escape, Appears in Court

by Erin McClam and Tom Winter /  / Updated 

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Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker accused of helping two inmates breakout of a maximum-security lockup in upstate New York, appeared briefly in court Monday in shackles.

She waived a preliminary hearing. On Friday, she pleaded not guilty to two charges against her, a felony count of promoting contraband and a misdemeanor count of criminal facilitation.

The local prosecutor has said that Mitchell, 51, a tailor shop instructor at Clinton Correctional Facility, provided the inmates blades, drill bits and other tools that helped them break out.

Mitchell appeared in court as the hunt for the inmates, Richard Matt and David Sweat, entered its 10th day.

Sources familiar with the investigation have told NBC News that Mitchell was investigated for a prior sexual incident with Sweat.

Sources have also told NBC News that the other inmate, Matt, charmed Mitchell to the point that she thought it was love. She agreed to be the getaway driver but backed out because she still loved her husband, prosecutors said.

Image: Joyce Mitchell
Joyce Mitchell stands with her lawyer Steven Johnston, appearing before Judge Buck Rogers in Plattsburgh City Court, New York, for a hearing on June 15.G.N. Miller / NY Post via AP, pool

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