2nd prison escapee, convicted murderer shot, captured by police

State Police officers enter a barn during a search on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. The shooting death of one escaped killer brought new energy to the three-week hunt for a second escaped murderer in the United States as helicopters, search dogs and hundreds of law enforcement officers converged on a wooded area 30 miles from Clinton Correctional Facility | Photo by AP Mike Groll, St. George News

MALONE, N.Y. — The second of two convicted murderers who staged a brazen escape from an upstate maximum-security prison three weeks ago was shot and captured Sunday, two days after his fellow inmate was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement officers, a sheriff said.

Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill said David Sweat was shot Sunday afternoon in Constable and was taken to a medical center in Malone, but he had no information on his condition. Fellow inmate Richard Matt was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement officers Friday afternoon.

This May 21, 2015, file photo released by the New York State Police shows David Sweat. Sweat, the second of two convicted murderers who staged a brazen escape from an upstate maximum-security prison three weeks ago, was shot and captured Sunday, June 28, 2015, two days after his fellow inmate was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement officers, a sheriff said | Photo courtesy of New York State Police via AP File, St. George News
This May 21, 2015, file photo released by the New York State Police shows David Sweat. Sweat, the second of two convicted murderers who staged a brazen escape from an upstate maximum-security prison three weeks ago, was shot and captured Sunday, June 28, 2015, two days after his fellow inmate was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement officers, a sheriff said | Photo courtesy of New York State Police via AP File, St. George News

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said federal law enforcement said Sweat was shot twice. He said no officers were believed to be injured.

Matt and Sweat used power tools to saw through a steel cell wall and several steel steam pipes, bashed a hole through a 2-foot-thick brick wall, squirmed through pipes and emerged from a manhole outside the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.

Sweat was serving a sentence of life without parole in the killing of a sheriff’s deputy in Broome County in 2002. Matt was serving 25 years to life for the killing and dismembering of his former boss. They were added to the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted fugitives list two weeks after getting away.

The search for the escaped killers was initially concentrated around the prison and a rural community where search dogs had caught the scent of both men. The search had since been expanded to neighboring counties, and, while authorities said there was no evidence the men had gotten out of the general area, they conceded they could have been almost anywhere.

The manhunt broke open Friday afternoon when a person towing a camper heard a loud noise and thought a tire had blown. Finding there was no flat, the driver drove eight miles before looking again and finding a bullet hole in the trailer. A tactical team responding to the scene of the shot smelled gunpowder inside a cabin and saw evidence that someone had fled out the back door.

Law enforcement officers gather on a road on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. The shooting death of one escaped killer brought new energy to the three-week hunt for a second escaped murderer in the United States as helicopters, search dogs and hundreds of law enforcement officers converged on a wooded area 30 miles from Clinton Correctional Facility| Photo by  AP Mike Groll, St. George News
Law enforcement officers gather on a road on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. The shooting death of one escaped killer brought new energy to the three-week hunt for a second escaped murderer in the United States as helicopters, search dogs and hundreds of law enforcement officers converged on a wooded area 30 miles from Clinton Correctional Facility| Photo by AP Mike Groll, St. George News

A noise — perhaps a cough — ultimately did Matt in. A border patrol team discovered Matt, who was shot after failing to heed a command to raise his hands. He was shot three times in the head, according to an autopsy.

A coroner who attended the autopsy said Matt was clean, well-fed and dressed for the elements at the time he was killed.

A pair of prison workers has been charged in connection with the inmates’ escape.

Prosecutors said Joyce Mitchell, a prison tailoring shop instructor who got close to the men while working with them, had agreed to be their getaway driver but backed out because she felt guilty for participating. Authorities also said Mitchell had discussed killing her husband, Lyle Mitchell, as part of the plot.

Joyce Mitchell pleaded not guilty June 15 to charges including felony promoting prison contraband, which authorities said included hacksaw blades and chisels.

Authorities said the men had filled their beds in their adjacent cells with clothes to make it appear they were sleeping when guards made overnight rounds. On a cut steam pipe, the prisoners left a taunting note containing a crude caricature of an Asian face and the words “Have a nice day.”

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said the inmates apparently used tools stored by prison contractors, taking care to return them to their toolboxes after each night’s work.

Corrections officers check a vehicle at a roadblock on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. The shooting death of one escaped killer brought new energy to the three-week hunt for a second escaped murderer in the United States as helicopters, search dogs and hundreds of law enforcement officers converged on a wooded area 30 miles from Clinton Correctional Facility | Photo by  AP Mike Groll, St. George News
Corrections officers check a vehicle at a roadblock on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. The shooting death of one escaped killer brought new energy to the three-week hunt for a second escaped murderer in the United States as helicopters, search dogs and hundreds of law enforcement officers converged on a wooded area 30 miles from Clinton Correctional Facility | Photo by AP Mike Groll, St. George News

On June 24, authorities charged Clinton correction officer Gene Palmer with promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct. Officials said he gave the two prisoners the frozen hamburger meat Joyce Mitchell had used to hide the tools she smuggled to Sweat and Matt. Palmer’s attorney said he had no knowledge that the meat contained hacksaw blades, a bit and a screwdriver.

Dannemora, built in 1845, occupies just over 1 square mile within the northern reaches of the Adirondack Forest Preserve and is surrounded by forest and farmland. The stark white perimeter wall of the prison, topped with guard towers, borders a main street in the village’s business district.

The escape was the first in history from Clinton Correctional’s maximum-security portion. In July 2003, two convicted murderers used tools from a carpentry shop at Elmira Correctional Facility to dig a hole in the roof of their cell and a rope of bedsheets to go over the wall. They were captured within three days, and a subsequent state investigation cited lax inmate supervision, poor tool control and incomplete cell searches.

Story by Michael Balsamo, Associated Press.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related posts

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

1 Comment

  • 42214 June 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Glad they caught him. Glad they shot him. Hope they did the surgery without anesthetic, cause his escape from prison caused a major headache.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.