Prison-Break Convict David Sweat Pleads Guilty

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Convicted Murderers Escape From New York State Prison
Photo: Handout/2015 New York State Police

David Sweat — one of the two murderers who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York in June — pleaded guilty to two counts of escape and one count of promoting prison contraband on Friday. He will be sentenced on February 3, but he is already in prison for life for killing a police officer. The district attorney said he might press for additional charges against Sweat in the future for the handful of cabins that he and Richard Matt raided during the 23 days they were on the lam. Among the items stolen were a few sips of Seagram’s grape gin, which was so smelly when opened that the cabin’s owners quickly realized someone had broken in. Matt, the other escapee, was killed by a Border Patrol officer during the search. He was possibly drunk on the grape gin when captured. 

Sweat has been in solitary confinement since being captured and is currently being held in the maximum-security Five Points Correctional Facility in the Finger Lakes. 

Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker who had a sexual relationship with at least one of the prisoners and helped them escape by giving them tools and blades smuggled in frozen hamburger meat, was recently sentenced to up to seven years in prison. Gene Palmer, who brought Richard Matt tools in exchange for the prisoner’s renowned (at least at Clinton) celebrity paintings, has pleaded not guilty to charges of promoting prison contraband.