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Joyce Mitchell Gives First-Ever TV Interview After Prison Break Drama: “I Just Got in Over My Head”

Joyce Mitchell and Matt Lauer
Joyce Mitchell opened up for the first time in a TV interview about helping David Sweat and Richard Matt escape prison Courtesy of the Today Show/Twitter

Breaking her silence. Joyce Mitchell, the woman who helped inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt escape prison in June, has given her first TV interview since she was put behind bars for her involvement in the saga.

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As previously reported, Mitchell supervised the convicted killers at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. She was supposed to be their getaway driver, but she backed out at the last minute.

Mitchell, 51, explained why she helped the men during an interview with the Today show’s Matt Lauer, which will air on Monday, Sept. 14.

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“I was going through a point in my life — a lot of people go through depression. A lot of people go through that. And I just got in over my head. And I couldn’t get out. And I couldn’t tell anybody,” she said. “I couldn’t tell my husband. Couldn’t tell my family. I couldn’t tell my co-workers. I couldn’t tell anybody. There’s nobody you can tell.”

David Sweat and Richard Matt
David Sweat and Richard Matt who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. New York State Police via Getty Images

Mitchell is in jail for sneaking in contraband like blade pieces to Sweat and Matt before their escape from the maximum security prison. Her husband, Lyle Mitchell, has stuck by her since the incident, despite reports that she had a sexual relationship with both men. Asked if Sweat had “complete control” over her, Mitchell replied: “Yes. He was good at that.”

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The men escaped on June 6, leading to a three-week manhunt. Matt was shot and killed by a Customs and Border Protection SWAT team near Elephant’s Head, N.Y., on June 26, while Sweat was spotted and arrested near the Canadian border two days later.

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