Breaking News Emails
Prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping two inmates escape, told investigators that she performed sexual acts on one of the men and sent X-rated selfies to the other and knew the duo planned to kill her husband, police documents show.
Mitchell, 51, told investigators that inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat nicknamed her husband, Lyle, "the glitch" and gave her small round pills to drug him with, according to statements obtained by NBC News that give dramatic new details of the breakout plot.
"I believe I helped Inmate Matt and Inmate Sweat escape because I was caught up in the fantasy," Mitchell said in one statement. "I enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me and the thought of a different life."
Mitchell, 51, has pleaded guilty to bringing contraband into the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, a felony, and to criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor, in a deal that spares her from more serious charges. She could get up to seven years when she is sentenced next month.
After three weeks on the run near the Canadian border, Matt was shot and killed by a tactical team of law enforcement officers in Malone on June 26, while Sweat was shot and captured in nearby Constable on June 28.
The three statements that Mitchell gave investigators while Matt and Sweat were still on the lam — obtained under a freedom of information request — describe how she fell under the sway of two convicted murderers serving life without parole.
They also provide a blow-by-blow of how the escape plan unfolded and how it went awry when Mitchell failed to show up for a midnight rendezvous with a sawed-off shotgun, a hatchet and a GPS for a seven-hour drive to a hideaway in the woods.
Mitchell said both men were "nice" and made her feel special. She began doing favors for Matt, starting with a call to his daughter, and he promised to paint a picture of her three kids so she could give it to her husband for their anniversary.
"It startled me. He kissed me with an open mouth kiss. I didn't say anything because I was scared for my husband."
In April, she and Matt were alone in the tailor shop where she was an instructor when he grabbed her and her kissed her, she said.
"It startled me. He kissed me with an open mouth kiss. I didn't say anything because I was scared for my husband, who also works for the facility."
In May, she said, Matt asked her to perform oral sex and she did, out of fear, she said. On other occasions, Matt would come to her desk wearing a big coat in which he had cut a hole so that Mitchell could touch his genitals.
"This happened two or three times," she said. "The only other physical contact I had with Inmate Matt was when he kissed me at the bottom of the first set of stairs. He never touched any of my private areas."
In another statement, Mitchell said she passed notes to Matt, who was assigned to the tailor shop, to give to Sweat, who was re-assigned after a rumor that he was romantically involved with the seamstress.
"Some of those notes were of a sexual nature but I never had any sexual contact with Inmate Sweat, only Inmate Matt. I did take some naked photos of my breasts and vagina and gave them to Inmate Matt to give to Inmate Sweat. I do not know what they did with the photos."
"After I picked them up, the plan was to drive to my home and Inmate Matt was going to kill 'the glitch.'"
Mitchell described how Matt had her bring certain items to him: padded gloves, glasses with lights on them, a screwdriver-type bit and, in early May, hacksaw blades.
Matt eventually confided that he and Sweat were cutting holes in their cells and going behind the walls, she said. He said they had found a box of power tools they were using to slice into the underground pipe system.
"Matt told me they were getting out and we were all going to be together," Mitchell said.
The plan, she said, was that on the day of the escape, she would give her husband two pills that Matt had somehow gotten his hands on.
"These two pills were intended to knock Lyle out so I could leave the house," she said. "After Lyle was asleep, I was supposed to drive to Dannemora and meet them by the powerhouse.
"The agreed upon meeting time was midnight. I was to drive my Jeep and bring my cellphone, gps, clothes, a gun, tents, sleeping bags, hatchet, fishing poles and money from a package I never picked up," she added.
"After I picked them up, the plan was to drive to my home and Inmate Matt was going to kill 'the glitch.' Inmate Matt referred to Lyle as 'the glitch.'"
But Mitchell never showed up to the rendezvous.
"I know I had agreed to help them escape and run away with them, but I panicked and couldn't follow through with the rest of the plan," she explained. "I really do love my husband and he's the reason."