David Sweat alluded police for three weeks — two days longer than his accomplice Richard Matt — in the thick woods of the Adirondacks, at one point perching in a hunter’s tree stand while he watched officers search beneath him.
At least, that’s the tale he’s told authorities. They’ve spent a couple days interviewing David in an Albany hospital bed, where he’s recovering from two gunshot wounds that finally brought him down after almost a month on the lam.
The criminal has been telling plenty of interesting stories about his escape from Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6. Authorities have called some of his details quite baffling and are reportedly tired of hearing them, concluding their interviews this week, Syracuse.com reported.
One detail that has been corroborated by police is the contention that Richard spent part of the escape getting hammered. Evidently, he drank so much booze while on the run that after a Border Patrol agent shot him — five days after the power couple split — they could smell alcohol on his body from several feet away.
David claimed that they found the booze in a cabin they busted into along the way. The older inmate’s desire to spend their brief jaunt in the Adirondacks hammered is what ultimately split them up, the New York Daily News reported. He was also out of shape and had blisters on his feet; police also found evidence to suggest that Matt had gotten ill at some point.
The drinking was apparently the last straw for Sweat, however.
Some of the inmate’s other tales are a bit more creative. According to CNN, Sweat said they escaped from the prison on June 5 but emerged from a manhole that was too close to residences; the pair went back to their cells.
David Sweat has also named himself as the break out’s mastermind, claiming they used only hacksaws to cut through prison walls and confirmed they were provided by seamstress Joyce Mitchell via frozen hamburger. Additionally, he said they smashed through a brick wall in the bowels of the prison with a sledgehammer. And during the ensuing manhunt, Sweat asserts that he heard the searchers’ voices from the safety of a cabin and watched others from a tree stand.
The inmate also denies having sex with Mitchell, which was allegedly a well-known relationship — and the inspiration for many jokes at Clinton. Another inmate, Erik Jensen, claimed the pair had sex four times a week in a storage closet. But David insists that was Richard.
And in return for being their getaway driver, they agreed to kill her husband, Lyle, at her request. Joyce claimed that the murder plot was the inmates’ idea.
Of course, Richard Matt isn’t around to contradict his fellow escapee. The murderer was shot after officials found him lying behind a tree; he was told to put up his hands but aimed a 20-guage shotgun at them instead. He was shot three times in the head as a result.
Richard Matt’s body is now being returned to his family in Tonawanda, New York, where his estranged son, Nick Harris, will claim it, CBS News reported. Though Harris didn’t know his father well, he told a local news station that he believes Matt’s death was wrongful due to the extent of his injuries.
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