Prison worker who helped 2 killers escape gets up to 7 years

FILE - In this July 28, 2015 file photo, Joyce Mitchell raises her hand during a court appearance in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Mitchell, the former New York prison employee who helped two killers escape from a maximum-security prison in June, said in an interview that aired Monday, Sept. 14, on NBC's "Today" show that she was depressed at the time and the inmates took advantage of what she called her "weakness." (Rob Fountain/The Press-Republican via AP, Pool, File)

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — A former New York prison worker who helped two murderers escape from a maximum-security lockup has been sentenced to up to seven years behind bars.

Fifty-one-year-old Joyce Mitchell wiped away tears and apologized as she was sentenced Monday to 2 1/3 to seven years in prison under terms of a plea deal with prosecutors this summer.

She pleaded guilty to charges related to providing tools to Richard Matt and David Sweat, who broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6.

The pair eluded more than 1,000 searchers in northern New York for weeks. Matt was killed by a border agent June 26. Sweat was wounded and captured by a trooper two days later.

Mitchell admitted becoming close with the pair, and she agreed to be their getaway driver before backing out.

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