Before she heard the sentence she wept while reading a letter to the jury saying that she felt very sorry for helping the two murderers escape from the maximum-security facility. One of the inmates was eventually shot dead while trying to flee to Mexico, while the other one was wounded and brought back to prison.
Mitchell will have to spend up to seven years behind bars for smuggling activity within the prison and aiding the escape.
In her letter, the former Clinton Correctional Facility employee wrote that she couldn’t find the right words to express how sorry she was. She admitted that she was fearful for her and her husband’s life.
“I know I should have told someone…this is something I will never forget or forgive myself for,”
But the judge seemed unimpressed. He scolded her for doing “terrible things” and for not stopping the breakout although she could have done it at any moment. He added that the New York state had to spend $23 million to capture the two fugitives.
A couple of months ago, Mitchell pleaded guilty to both charges of contraband and aiding criminal activity. She said that she inserted hacksaw blades into frozen hamburger meat and gave it to another prison employee, Gene Palmer, to deliver it to the two inmates.
Palmer pleaded not guilty to a charge of prison contraband because he reportedly didn’t know what the hamburger meat contained.
Mitchell also said that she gave the two fugitives a screwdriver, a punch tool, and chisels. Moreover, she promised the two men that she would take them to Mexico in her car, which she never did because she was stricken with a panic attack on the day of the escape. The two men did escape on June 6, but they didn’t kill the woman’s husband as their initial plan was.
Twenty days later, one of the fugitives was killed by a border parole agent, while a couple of more days later the other man was wounded by a police officer. His attorney is now negotiating with prosecution over a plea deal. The fugitive was already serving a life sentence for murder.
According to court papers, Mitchell gave the two men the necessary tools one month before their breakout, but the group planned the escape for a year.
Image Source: Klfyr