David Sweat is sentenced to an additional seven to 14 years for three charges relating to his prison break
Sweat is also ordered to pay more than $79,000 for prison damage
He escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in June; partner Richard Matt was killed
One of the two convicted murderers who broke out of an upstate New York prison last year was sentenced Wednesday to a maximum range of additional time and ordered to pay more than $79,000 because of the breakout.
David Sweat – already serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for a previous murder conviction – was sentenced to an additional seven to 14 years for three charges relating to his June escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility Dannemora, New York.
Sweat, the only one of the escapees who survived a massive police manhunt, apologized at his sentencing hearing in Plattsburgh for distressing area residents during the pair’s time on the lam.
“I’d like to apologize to the community and people who felt the fear and felt it necessary to leave their homes or their community because of the escape,” a handcuffed and bespectacled Sweat told a judge before the sentencing. “That was never my intent, and I deeply apologize for that, your honor.”
The state had asked the judge to order Sweat to pay $79,841 for damage that he and fellow escapee Richard Matt did to the prison to break out.
Law enforcement shot and captured Sweat on June 28 after he’d been on the run for more than three weeks. Matt was shot and killed two days before Sweat was caught.
Escape and capture
Officials discovered on June 6 that the convicted murderers had drilled and sawed their way out of the maximum-security prison. They planned to head to Mexico but had to improvise after a prison tailor accused of aiding them failed to show up to give them a ride, officials said.
After his capture, Sweat told authorities that he and Matt were together for days until he decided to go on his own because Matt, who was older, was slowing him down, authorities said.
A New York state trooper captured Sweat near the Canadian border after firing two shots at the fleeing escapee. Sweat was hospitalized for a time before being returned to a state prison.
Prison worker Joyce Mitchell, who helped Matt and Sweat in their escape, pleaded guilty last July to charges that could bring up to seven years behind bars. Mitchell, 51, was charged with promoting prison contraband, a felony, and criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor.
In statements she gave to police, Mitchell detailed how she bought and delivered tools to the two men so they could break out of prison. After the escape, Mitchell was supposed to bring them a Jeep, a gun, a GPS unit, money and other materials, but she backed out.
Mitchell also detailed how she was supposed to give her husband two pills to knock him out, and the plan called for one of the escaped inmates to later kill her husband, Mitchell said in her statements to police.
Sweat pleaded guilty to escape and promoting prison contraband in November.