Prison tailor awaits sentencing in jailbreak case: Will she do time?

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Joyce Mitchell faces up to 7 years for helping N.Y. prisoners escape.

Former prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell arrived at an upstate New York courthouse on Monday, with her hands and feet shackled, to be sentenced for helping two convicts escape with tools smuggled in hamburger meat.PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — A former New York prison worker who helped two murderers escape from a maximum-security lockup has been sentenced to up to seven years behind bars. Mitchell, 51, pleaded guilty in a deal that allowed her to sidestep charges for an alleged plot to kill her husband and for any sexual contact with the inmates, David Sweat and Richard Matt.

The felony contraband charge carries a sentence of 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison, but Mitchell’s lawyer has said she is unlikely to be locked up for more than four years with time off for good behavior. Matt and Sweat broke out of the Clinton County Correctional Facility on June 6 by cutting through walls and pipes with tools supplied by Mitchell, who says she fell under their sway and then was too scared to refuse their demands. In an exclusive interview with TODAY, Mitchell said the two men — both serving life for murder — wanted her to meet them after the escape with a getaway car. “I was supposed to come up and park by the manhole that they were gonna be coming out of.

I’m just somebody that got caught up in something she couldn’t get out of.” Officials said the convicts used tools to cut their way out of their adjacent cells and get into the catwalk between the cell block walls. A prison guard, Gene Palmer, who authorities have said unwittingly abetted the escape plot, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of promoting prison contraband.

In exchange, she will waive her right to appeal and will cooperate with the continued investigation into the prison break. “Because the evidence was so overwhelming … she wanted to expedite her case proceedings and move on with the matter,” Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told reporters outside the court

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