Convicted killer thought fellow escapee was slowing him down

2015-06-30 14:31
David Sweat. (File, AP)

David Sweat. (File, AP)

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Plattsburgh - Two convicted killers who staged a complicated prison break and then spent more than two weeks roaming in thick New York woods finally split up a few days before one was shot and the other captured, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Authorities believe David Sweat, aged 35, and Richard Matt, aged 49, travelled mostly at night and managed to procure food, a gun and other supplies from hunting camps and seasonal cabins before splitting up about five days ago as they tried to elude a massive manhunt.

Sweat was hospitalised in serious condition after being shot twice in the torso by a trooper and captured Sunday near the Canadian border. Cuomo said Sweat has begun providing information about his audacious escape from the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6 with Richard Matt and their weeks on the lam. Matt was killed by officers on Friday.

Matt had blisters on his feet, searchers found his bloody socks and Sweat thought the older escape partner was holding him back on their run to the Canadian border.

"Sweat felt that Matt was slowing him down," Cuomo said.

Prosecutors have previously said prison tailor shop employee Joyce Mitchell got close to the men and agreed to be their getaway driver but backed out because she felt guilty. Authorities also have said they discussed killing Mitchell's husband.

Mitchell and corrections officer Gene Palmer have been charged in connection with the escape. Mitchell pleaded not guilty June 15 to charges including felony promoting prison contraband.

Palmer is charged with promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct.

Sweat had been 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 killing and dismembering his former boss in western New York.

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