Escaped New York Prisoners Were Done In by Booze

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Progression Images Of Escaped Inmates Released
Photo: Handout/2015 New York State Police

Richard Matt, one half of the duo who escaped prison last month and led police on a two-week manhunt, was more concerned with getting drunk in a secluded cabin than finding a more permanent hiding place, according to the state trooper who led the search. That’s what led to his downfall.

In an interview with upstate paper The Press-Republican, Major Charles Guess said Matt and fellow escapee David Sweat argued about staying in a cabin, which was well stocked with booze, after they’d already spent a few nights there:

Matt was comfortable, Guess said, having access to alcohol, heat and water.

He wanted to stay, but Sweat feared their isolation might be breached.

Matt argued for staying put, saying that if someone did come, they could take him hostage or just kill him, Sweat told police after his capture.

Eventually they had no choice. They left the cabin, but Matt was still drunk. Sweat was desperate to get rid of Matt, who had become a liability.

And then it happened. Matt fell down in the middle of the woods.


Sweat used that as his opportunity to ditch his partner, Guess said, taking off running in an easterly and northerly direction.

That would be the last time they saw each other. Another successful marriage torn asunder by alcohol.