Husband of prison worker accused of helping escapees breaks his silence

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Joyce Mitchell leaves Plattsburgh City Court after her hearing, Monday, June 15, 2015, in Plattsburgh, N.Y. (Rob Fountain/Press-Republican via AP)

DANNEMORA, N.Y. (MEDIA GENERAL) – Joyce Mitchell has been the center of attention after it was revealed she helped convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility more than two weeks ago.

Lyle Mitchell said in a televised interview that he was blindsided by the escape and even more surprised when his wife admitted she was involved in the plot.

“(At the police station) an investigator comes out and says, ‘Mr. Mitchell, your wife is more involved than what she’s lettin’ on.’” Lyle Mitchell told Matt Lauer in an interview. “I asked her what was going on. She said, ‘I just – I did some things … and I got over my head.’ I didn’t know what to say. I was just … disbelief, shock.”

Both Joyce and Lyle Mitchell work at Clinton Correctional Facility. Joyce worked in the prison’s tailor shop, where she interacted regularly with Matt and Sweat, who were housed in the honor block for good behavior.

Joyce Mitchell is accused of sneaking in contraband to help the two in their escape plan, including hacksaw blades, chisels and drill bits.

Allegations have surfaced that Joyce Mitchell has had sexual relationships with both Sweat and Matt, which Joyce Mitchell denies. The prison investigated claims into a relationship with Sweat in 2013. Sweat was moved out of the tailor shop to limit their interactions.

Lyle Mitchell’s attorney, Peter Dumas, told CNN that Lyle had confronted Sweat about the allegations during the investigation.

“Sweat had talked to him at that point in time because he works in the facility with her and said, ‘No, no, no – there’s nothing going on,’” Dumas said.

Said Lyle Mitchell: “She swore on her son’s life that definitely, ‘Never have I ever had sex (with Matt or Sweat).’”

Lyle Mitchell has fully cooperated with authorities, but he has not decided whether he will testify against his wife.

“Do I still love her? Yes. Am I mad? Yes,” Lyle Mitchell pondered. “How could she do this? How could she do this to our kids?”

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