DA: Female Prison Worker Gave Inmates Contraband

But Joyce Mitchell didn't hand over power tools
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2015 9:27 AM CDT
DA: Smitten Prison Worker Gave Inmates Contraband
Police and an emergency response team search a wooded area for two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility on Monday, June 8, 2015.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

It was previously hinted at, but authorities have now confirmed to CNN that Clinton Correctional Facility employee Joyce Mitchell "provided some form of equipment or tools" to escaped inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat. Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie made the announcement today, with sources saying the contraband items included hacksaw blades, drill bits, and two pairs of eyeglasses with attached lights, purchased over the last few months. But USA Today adds that Wylie said Mitchell "did not bring power tools into the facility based on our investigation." He did not elaborate on the source of those tools, but did say Mitchell has been "extremely cooperative."

Prior to the breakout, corrections officials had received a complaint about the relationship between Mitchell, the prison seamstress, and one of the two escapees, whom she worked with in the tailor shop. (ABC News reports it was Sweat.) Wylie says there was no evidence to back it up at the time, but "I don't believe that the information was that there was absolutely no relationship." Sources tell NBC News that the other inmate, Matt, charmed Mitchell and "she thought it was love." Calls were made to people with links to Matt from Mitchell's cell phone, though it's not known who placed the calls. Authorities say she may have been designated as the fugitives' get-away driver, but instead admitted herself to a hospital 40 minutes away with "a case of nerves." The fugitives have now been on the lam for almost a week. Click for more on the case. (More fugitives stories.)

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