Lyle Mitchell Still Loves His Wife Despite Role In Prison Break, But Unsure He’ll Stick Beside Her
At the heart of the prison break that has transfixed the nation’s attention is a human story. That story is one of heartbreak and betrayal, and a husband — Lyle Mitchell — stunned by his wife’s alleged involvement.
Richard Matt and David Sweat now run free through the thick wilderness of northern New York, evading police for two weeks. Police say their escape was made possible by the actions of Clinton Correctional Facility employee Joyce Mitchell, who is accused of providing them with the tools needed to cut through their cell walls. Now she is in jail.
Mitchell told his side of the story to Matt Lauer on Tuesday, apparently in an attempt to detract media attention away from his family. Mitchell said their 14-year marriage was a happy one, noting that “We never fight. We’re together, I’ll bet you, 95 percent of the time. We work together, we never leave the house unless we’re together,” The New York Daily News reported.
Now, Lyle has more questions than he can wrap his head around. Not long after the escape, his wife gradually admitted to her involvement, and rumors emerged that she had a sexual relationship with both convicts. Lauer asked Mitchell point blank if he plans to stand by his wife. He hasn’t yet found an answer.
“There are so many thoughts running through my head. Do I still love her? Yes. Am I mad? Yes. How can she do this? How can she do this to our kids?”
Lyle also shed a little light on what may have motivated his wife to help Matt and Sweat. They gave her a little attention at a time she feared her husband didn’t love her anymore. That attention “was like a fantasy,” Mitchell apparently told him, which “lured” her in.
Though Lyle said he believes that Matt tried to kiss his wife — an advance she brushed off — he absolutely rejects any suggestion that she had sex with either inmate, Syracuse.com reported.
The “fantasy” eventually faded, those attentions quickly morphing into threats directed at Lyle. The murder plot arose, apparently, to ensure Joyce’s cooperation in aiding the inmates’ escape. She told Lyle that Matt made the threats, suggesting that someone inside the prison — where he also worked — would hurt him.
When the inmates suggested drugging him, Mitchell said Joyce — who was allegedly meant to be the getaway driver — finally realized she was in over her head and abandoned the plan, People added.
“She said she was in too deep, she didn’t know how to get out of it … She said, ‘I love my husband, I am not hurtin’ him.’ … I said, ‘How can you do this? She said, ‘It just got out of hand. I was scared and I didn’t know what to do…’ I didn’t know what to say. I was just … disbelief, shock.”
After the inmates’ escape, police — and Lyle — gradually came to learn about Joyce’s relationship with the men and her role in the plot. Mitchell has been accused of providing them with hacksaw blades, a screw driver, and a chisel; the blades were hidden in frozen burger.
Now, hundreds of officials from New York State Police, FBI, US Marshals, and the State Department of Corrections, are combing dense woods in the Adirondacks near Owls Head and Mountain View in hot pursuit, after confirming through DNA testing that the men had spent time in a cabin in the area.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]