Time to talk. Following his wife's arrest for helping free two convicted killers from prison, Joyce Mitchell's husband Lyle Mitchell finally broke his silence in an interview with the Today show's Matt Lauer on Tuesday, June 23.
Joyce has been charged with helping two inmates, convicted killers David Sweat and Richard Matt, successfully break out from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. Meanwhile, her husband claimed that he had no idea this was being planned behind his back.
"An investigator comes out and says, 'Mr Mitchell, your wife is more involved than what she's lettin' on'" he recalled to Lauer on Tuesday. "I asked her what was going on. She said, 'I just — I did some things … and I got over my head.' I didn't know what to say. I was just [in] disbelief, shock."
Joyce, 51, who was a seamstress at the maximum-security prison, supervised Sweat and Matt. She claimed that the men, with whom she was suspected to have had sexual ties, initiated the contact. "She swore on her son's life that definitely, 'Never have I ever had sex' [with Matt or Sweat]," Lyle told Lauer.
Joyce has been accused of sneaking contraband — drill bits, blade pieces, and other material — into the prison and handing it directly to the convicts. She was supposed to serve as their getaway driver after the prison break. Her assistance has turned into one of the most high-profile prison break incidents in recent history.
The grand scheme, however, was cut short when Joyce got cold feet. "When it came down to her hurtin' me, that's when she said something was wrong," Lyle explained. "She said she was in too deep, she didn't know how to get out of it…. She said: 'I love my husband, I am not hurtin' him.' She said, 'Then I knew I was over my head.'"
According to Lyle, their marriage was solid before the incident. "We never fight," Lyle continued. "We're together, I'll bet you, 95 percent of the time. We work together, we never leave the house unless we're together."
Now, a remorseful Joyce is fully cooperating with investigators. "She said, 'I'm tryin' to make this right. I know what I did was wrong. I need to make this right.'"
However, she may have lost her husband in the process. "As of right now, I don't know what to think," Lyle told Lauer of whether he will stand by his wife. "I do not know."
One thing's certain. "Do I still love her? Yes," he shared. "Am I mad? Yes. How could she do this? How could she do this to our kids?"
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