NPR logo N.Y. Prison Worker Joyce Mitchell Arrested Over Killers' Escape

N.Y. Prison Worker Joyce Mitchell Arrested Over Killers' Escape

Joyce Mitchell is arraigned in City Court on Friday in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Mitchel is accused of helping two convicted killers escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, where she is an employee. i

Joyce Mitchell is arraigned in City Court on Friday in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Mitchel is accused of helping two convicted killers escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, where she is an employee. Mike Groll/AP hide caption

toggle caption Mike Groll/AP
Joyce Mitchell is arraigned in City Court on Friday in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Mitchel is accused of helping two convicted killers escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, where she is an employee.

Joyce Mitchell is arraigned in City Court on Friday in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Mitchel is accused of helping two convicted killers escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, where she is an employee.

Mike Groll/AP

New York State Police say they've arrested Clinton Correctional Facility worker Joyce Mitchell and charged her with "providing material assistance" to two convicted killers who escaped from the prison last weekend.

Update at 11:15 p.m. ET

Mitchell was arraigned on one felony charge of promoting prison contraband and one misdemeanor charge of criminal facilitation. The judge said the proceedings would resume on Monday at 8:30 a.m.

Mitchell, 51, is an instructor in the prison tailor shop. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.

Mitchell's arrest comes after several days of speculation that a prison employee might have played a role in the escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat.

Today, Major Charles E. Guess of the State Police announced "a message" to the two escapees: "We're coming for you, and we will not stop until you are caught."

Guess confirmed that the search continues both in the area near the prison and in parts of Vermont. And he said that bad weather has somewhat hampered the search.

Update at 6:45 p.m. ET: Search Continues In N.Y.

"We do not have any conclusive evidence that either of the inmates have left this area," Major Guess says at a news conference. Responding to a question about the two, he said, "We have no reason to believe they are not together."

"There have been no confirmed sightings" of the pair, he said later.

Providing an update on that search, local TV News 10 says:

"State police say more than 800 law enforcement officers, local, state and federal were all working together on the seventh day of the search.

"The focus of the search is the woods just north of Route 3 in Cadyville.

"It's less than six miles from the Clinton Correctional Facility, where these two inmates escaped last weekend."

Our original post continues:

The State Police say: "Mitchell was charged with Promoting Prison Contraband 1st Degree, a class D Felony, and Criminal Facilitation 4th Degree, a class A misdemeanor."

Together, those offences could expose Mitchell to maximum prison sentences of up to 8 years, officials said.

On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed to reporters that a female prison worker had been interviewed as part of the investigation. At the same news conference, officials said they believed there's a chance that Sweat and Matt, who remain at large, might have have headed to a Vermont camp.

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