Life on the lam: Escaped convict David Sweat shares details

Prison escapee David Sweat told authorities that he parted ways with his accomplice Richard Matt five days ago.

The two convicted killers who pulled off a complex prison break and then spent over two weeks roaming the dense New York woods, finally parted ways a few days before one was shot and the other captured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

Authorities say they believe that David Sweat and Richard Matt traveled mostly at night, acquiring food, a gun, and other supplies in hunting camps and seasonal cabins. The two are thought to have split up around five days ago as they sought to avoid a massive manhunt.

Mr. Matt was killed by police officers on Friday, while Mr. Sweat was hospitalized and in serious condition after a trooper shot him twice in the torso. He was captured Sunday near the Canadian border.

Law enforcement said that Sweat was carrying a backpack with Pop-Tarts, a map, and a transistor radio with extra batteries when apprehended.

Governor Cuomo said that Sweat has begun providing information about his escape from the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., on June 6, and the three weeks spent on the run with Matt.  

Matt had developed blisters on his feet and Sweat thought that the elder escapee was holding him back as the two men made a run for the Canadian border.

"Sweat felt that Matt was slowing him down," Cuomo said.

Matt's autopsy revealed that he had insect bites on his lower extremities, blisters, and minor abrasions, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Prosecutors say that a prison tailor shop employee, Joyce Mitchell, had developed a relationship with the two men and agreed to be their getaway driver, but later backed down due to guilt. Authorities also said that Ms. Mitchell had discussed having the two men kill her husband.

Mitchell and a prison corrections officer, Gene Palmer, have been charged in connection with the escape.

Mr. Palmer has been charged with promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence, and official misconduct. Mitchell has plead not guilty to similar charges, including felony promoting prison contraband.

Sweat had been serving a sentence of life without parole for the murder of a sheriff's deputy in Broome County in 2002. Matt was serving 25 years to life for killing and dismembering his former boss in western New York.

After being shot and arrested, Sweat was taken by ambulance to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, N.Y., and was treated for several hours before being transferred to Albany Medical Center. He is currently in critical condition.

“David Sweat will remain at Albany Medical Center for at least a few days while his condition stabilizes, and updates on his condition will be provided as appropriate,” Albany Medical Center Director Dennis McKenna said in a statement. 

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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