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Bickering complicated life on the lam for escaped prisoners

In addition to dodging hundreds of searchers, escaped prisoners David Sweat and Richard Matt also struggled with interpersonal challenges.

New York State Police/AP/File
Mug shots released by the New York State Police show David Sweat (l.) and Richard Matt. Matt, who staged a brazen escape from an upstate maximum-security prison with Sweat and had been hunted for three weeks was shot and killed June 26. Sweat was shot and captured on June 28.

Life on the lam proved to be quite stressful for two prisoners on the run from New York's maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility. In addition to dodging hundreds of searchers, escaped prisoners David Sweat and Richard Matt also struggled with interpersonal challenges, according to a new report from The Press-Republican of Plattsburgh.

Commander Major Charles Guess, who led the search for Mr. Matt and Mr. Sweat, told the Plattsburgh paper that the fugitives had a disagreement about when to leave the hunting cabin located 15 Miles from prison in Twisted Horn camp in remote Owls Head.

After spending two to three nights at the cabin, Sweat grew concerned. "It was a Saturday, and it was a beautiful day,” related Commander Guess, referring to June 20. “And he thought that someone could be coming to check on the camp, and he wanted to get out of there."

Having access to alcohol, heat, and water, Matt was comfortable and wanted to stay. He said that if someone showed up, they could either take him hostage or kill him, Sweat told police after his capture.

But they rushed off the back deck into the woods on June 20 when John Stockwell, a corrections officer, approached the cabin. Officer Stockwell was checking the cameras at the hunting camp.

The prisoners escaped from the maximum security prison in upstate NY on June 6. Sweat told authorities that he had spent months digging his way out of the prison while guards slept at night. The search for them stretched from Pennsylvania to the Canadian border, while there were also some speculations that Matt and Sweat might be in Mexico or somewhere far away. But when Stockwell called 911, the police shifted their focus to the Mountain View and Owls Head area in the town of Bellmont.

After leaving the cabin, Sweat found Matt to be a liability and finally they went their separate ways.

In the end, Matt was shot three times in the head and killed by law enforcement officers on June 26 and two days later Sweat was shot and captured close to the Canadian border.

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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