Gene Palmer, a guard at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, was sentenced to six months in jail and fined about $5,000 on Monday for unwittingly helping Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from the prison last June. Palmer brought in pliers and a screwdriver for the two prisoners, as well as hamburger meat which, unbeknownst to him, concealed a hacksaw blade.
Palmer gave the tools to the prisoners as a favor, so they could fix the wiring to more easily cook inside their cells. In typical give-a-mouse-a-cookie fashion, once they could cook, they needed hamburger meat, and so on.
Palmer plead guilty to a felony for providing tools to the prisoners, a misdemeanor for official misconduct, and another misdemeanor for all the hamburger meat. He is the third accomplice to be sentenced in the escape. The prison seamstress, Joyce Mitchell — who hid the hacksaw in the ground beef — was sentenced to up to seven years in prison in September.
The escape transfixed the nation last year and led to a three-week manhunt. Eventually, David Sweat was apprehended and Richard Matt was shot and killed by police.