Prison-Escape Helper: 'I Just Got in Over My Head'

Joyce Mitchell says Richard Matt had 'complete control'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2015 10:20 AM CDT

Ex-prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell is in an upstate New York jail awaiting sentencing for her role in helping inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt escape the Clinton Correctional Facility in June, but she took the time to talk to Matt Lauer recently to explain where her head was at during the shocking scenario, Today reports. "I was going through a point in my life—a lot of people go through depression. … And I just got in over my head," she says in what will air as a two-part Today interview next Monday and Friday, as well as a Dateline episode next Friday at 9pm. "And I couldn't get out. And I couldn't tell anybody. I couldn't tell my husband. Couldn't tell my family. I couldn't tell my co-workers. … There's nobody you can tell."

The 51-year-old, who could face up to seven years after having pleaded guilty to smuggling contraband into the prison (a felony) and criminal facilitation (a misdemeanor), also tells Lauer that Richard Matt was the one who had all the power in their relationship. "Yes. He was good at that," she replies to Lauer when he asks if Matt, who was shot dead a few weeks after his breakout, had "complete control" over her. A couple of other nuggets broached in the interview: how Mitchell's bond with the inmates was forged and rumors of her sexual relations with them, per NBC New York. (More Joyce Mitchell stories.)

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