Woman who sprung killer-cons planned to take them to kill her husband

Mitchell with her family

Prison tailor shop worker Joyce Mitchell is already in big trouble for providing tools to two convicts who escaped from a New York prison.

But she avoided getting involved in an even worse crime when she got cold feet.

Mitchell, 51, was arrested Friday for allegedly providing tools to convicted murderers Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 35, who cut their way into a sewer pipe and escape, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

An unnamed law enforcement source told the Daily News, based on Mitchell’s confession, “They planned on killing her husband.”

Mitchell had planned to pick up the two escaped convicts in her car, and take them to her home, but as the planned escape neared, she reconsidered and checked herself into a hospital.

“She said the plan was to pick them up and go to her house,” the source told The News. “She didn’t say that she was going to help them” kill her husband.

Investigators still don’t fully understand the reasons Mitchell would help the two murderers, or why they would have wanted to kill her husband,  Lyle Mitchell, who also worked at the prison.

Mitchell backed out of the escape plans because she didn’t want the convicts to hurt her husband, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told CNN on Sunday.

Mitchell was to take the the killers to a place they had chosen, although she did not know where.  Wylie told The News that Mitchell “indicated that Matt and Sweat advised her it would be about seven hours away,” a place that would require Mitchell’s four-wheel-drive Jeep.

The two escaped killers are still at large, and hundreds of law enforcement workers are searching across northern New York to find them.  Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, the prison from which the two escaped, is about 20 miles south of the Canadian border.

“We don’t know if they are still in the area, or if they’re in Mexico by now,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said when asked about the fugitives at a news conference Sunday.

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Steve Berman


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