NY prison worker's husband breaks silence on 18th day of escapee hunt

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Joyce Mitchell's Husband Breaks His Silence In NBC Interview

n">The husband of a female prison worker charged with helping two New York inmates escape spoke out on Tuesday, the 18th day of a massive manhunt, saying the break-out plan called for her to slip him knockout pills.

A force of 1,000 law enforcement officers focused the search for murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat in eastern Franklin County, about 20 miles from Clinton Correctional Facility, said New York State Police spokesman Beau Duffy.

The hunt centered on the town of Bellmont, near a cabin where authorities during the weekend found evidence that reportedly showed the escapees had been inside.

They were discovered missing from the maximum-security facility in Dannemora, New York, on June 6.

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NY prison worker's husband breaks silence on 18th day of escapee hunt
FILE - This combination of file photos released by the New York State Police shows David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Matt, who staged a brazen escape from an upstate maximum-security prison with Sweat and had been hunted for three weeks was shot and killed Friday, June 26, 2015. Sweat was shot and captured on Sunday, June 28. (New York State Police via AP, File)
An annotated aerial image of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. shows where the prisoners escaped and provides details of the prison. Included are mugshots of the escapees and description of their crimes. (Image via AP)
A manhole cover that was part of a prison escape is shown, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Dannemora, N.Y. The 11th day of searching for two prisoners that escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility began Tuesday with roadblocks still in place. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A manhole cover is shown in an intersection, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Dannemora, N.Y. Eleven days earlier the manhole was part of an escape route for two prisoners from the Clinton Correctional Facility, rear. The 11th day of searching began Tuesday with roadblocks still in place. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Razor wire covers a fence at the Clinton Correctional Facility, Monday, June 15, 2015 in Dannemora, N.Y. State police say more than 800 law enforcement officers are pushing on in the hunt for convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt 10 days after the two escaped from the maximum-security prison in rural New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
UNDATED: In this handout from the New York State Police, a progression image of escaped inmate Richard Matt is seen. Matt and fellow inmate David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on June 6, and a manhunt for them is ongoing. The image is intended to show what the inmate would look like after almost two weeks on the run. (Photo by New York State Police via Getty Images)
UNDATED: In this handout from the New York State Police, a progression image of escaped inmate David Sweat is seen. Sweat and fellow inmate Richard Matt escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on June 6, and a manhunt for them is ongoing. The image is intended to show what the inmate would look like after almost two weeks on the run. (Photo by New York State Police via Getty Images)
An employee leaves the Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in Dannemora, N.Y. Search teams are back in the woods of northern New York looking for two convicted murderers who broke out of the maximum-security prison a week and a half ago. More than 800 law enforcement officers are in the 12th day of searching for David Sweat and Richard Matt. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
An employee leaves the Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in Dannemora, N.Y. Search teams are back in the woods of northern New York looking for two convicted murderers who broke out of the maximum-security prison a week and a half ago. More than 800 law enforcement officers are in the 12th day of searching for David Sweat and Richard Matt. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
PLATTSBURGH, NY - JUNE 15: Joyce Mitchell (L) , a prison worker who allegedly helped two convicts escape from prison, is lead from Plattsburgh Ciy Court after a hearing on June 15, 2015 in Plattsburgh, New York. The convicts, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escaped sometime during the night between June 5 and June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York and law enforcement are on a multi-state manhunt for their capture. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
This photo provided by the New York State Police shows Gene Palmer on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The maximum-security prison guard believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to two inmates before they escaped was arrested on Wednesday, authorities said. (New York State Police via AP)
A New York State Police officer escorts suspended Clinton Correctional Facility guard Gene Palmer, left, from Plattsburgh Town Court in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Palmer is believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to two Clinton Correctional Facility inmates before they escaped on June 6. He faces charges including promoting prison contraband and tampering with physical evidence, state police said. (Rob Fountain/The Press-Republican via AP)
PLATTSBURGH, NY - JUNE 15: Joyce Mitchell (L) appears before Judge Buck Rogers in Plattsburgh City Court on June 15, 2015 in Plattsburgh, New York. Mitchell allegedly aided inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat in their escape from Clinton Correctional Facility. They were discovered missing the morning of June 6. (Photo by G.N. Miller - Pool/Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown the escape path where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown the escape path where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown the escape path where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo walks past jail cells where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, shoes a note where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel pipes at the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, shows where two convicted murderers escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, shows where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel pipes at the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (R) is shown the manhole where two convicted murderers escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
A guard house stands above the wall of the Clinton Correctional Facility, Monday, June 15, 2015, in Dannemora, N.Y. State police say more than 800 law enforcement officers are pushing on in the hunt for convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt 10 days after the two escaped from the maximum-security prison in rural New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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Lyle Mitchell, whose wife, Joyce Mitchell, admitted she helped the convicts, said on NBC's "Today" show that the men gave her pills to knock him out so that she could slip away and drive their getaway car. At that point, she knew things had gone too far, Mitchell said.

"She said: 'I love my husband, I am not hurtin' him,'" Mitchell told NBC in his first media interview, which aired on Tuesday. "She said, 'Then I knew I was over my head. I can't do this.'"

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told reporters last week that she had discussed a plan with the men to kill her husband, who also worked at the prison.

Mitchell has visited his wife in jail, where she is being held on charges she supplied hacksaw blades that allowed Sweat and Matt to cut through their cell walls, slither through a steam pipe and emerge from a manhole outside the prison walls.

He said his wife denied having sex with either of the convicts, saying Matt tried to kiss her but she resisted his advances.

Asked if he supported his wife, Mitchell said, "As of right now I don't know what to think," adding that he had not yet decided whether he would testify against her in court.

"Do I still love her? Yes. Am I mad? Yes. How could she do this? How could she do this to our kids?" Mitchell told NBC News.

Joyce Mitchell, 51, who worked as a training supervisor in the prison's tailor shop, has pleaded not guilty to charges of promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitation.

If convicted, she could face up to eight years in prison.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Ellen Wulfhorst and Bill Trott; Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington)

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