Two inmates who escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, and spent more than two weeks hiding from the police in the woods had split after one of the convicted killers thought the other was slowing him down, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, the Associated Press (AP) reported late Monday. The two fugitives, David Sweat, 35, and Richard Matt, 49, reportedly went separate ways a few days before one was shot dead while the other was apprehended by police.
Authorities reportedly believe that the two escapees traveled mostly at night and procured food and other supplies from hunting camps. They reportedly split five days before a massive manhunt, which had begun after they fled the maximum security prison on June 6, ended. The two had reportedly cut themselves out of their cells and crawled through pipes to the outside.
"Sweat felt that Matt was slowing him down," Cuomo said, according to the AP, adding that since Matt had blisters on his feet, Sweat thought that the 49-year-old was holding him back.
Sweat was apprehended near the Canadian border on Sunday a day after his companion, Matt, was killed in a shootout with U.S. Border Patrol officers. Sweat was hospitalized in serious condition after being shot twice in the torso, but is currently stable, authorities reportedly said. Cuomo said that Sweat has begun providing information about the prison break.
Sweat reportedly had a bag containing maps, tools and bug repellent when he was shot by Sgt. Jay Cook in the town of Constable, about 30 miles northwest of the prison. He was unarmed at the time of his arrest, authorities reportedly said.
Prosecutors had earlier said that Joyce Mitchell, an instructor at the prison tailor shop, had befriended the two convicted murderers and had agreed to be their getaway driver. However, she backed out because she felt guilty.
"They would kill Mitchell's husband and then get in the car and drive to Mexico on the theory that Mitchell was in love with one or both of them, and then they would go live happily ever after, which is a fairy tale that I wasn't read as a child," Cuomo reportedly said on the Capitol Pressroom radio program. "When Mitchell doesn't show up, the Mexico plan gets foiled, and then they head north toward Canada."
Before breaking out, Matt was serving 25 years for kidnapping, torturing and dismembering his former boss in 1997. Sweat was serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff’s deputy in 2002.