NY prison guard traded art supplies for snitching info
Inside job. Gene Palmer is accused of bringing tools hidden inside frozen hamburger meat to the convicted killers.
A guard charged in the upstate New York escape of two inmates said he allowed them into the prison’s internal catwalks, which they later used to flee, in return for snitching on other inmates, according to court documents.
Corrections officer Gene Palmer said he also let inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt change electrical wiring so they could cook in their cells at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.
Palmer’s sworn deposition was posted in a New York Times story.
After the escape was discovered on June 6, officials said Matt, 49, and Sweat, 35, used the tools to break through their steel cell walls, scurry through the catwalks into a steam pipe and emerge from an outside manhole.
In the deposition, Palmer said he provided Matt, who painted portraits, with paints and brushes and helped hide them in the catwalk.
Palmer said he did “not intentionally” assist with the escape but bartered with Matt for “elaborate paintings and information on the illegal acts that inmates were committing.”
Officials searched the forests of the Adirondack Mountains in the 20th day of the manhunt. The men were assumed to have weapons likely stolen from a cabin about 20 miles west of the prison, state police said.
Joyce Mitchell, 51, a worker in the prison’s tailor shop charged with aiding the escape, allegedly hid the tools in the meat, said Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie.
Palmer also is accused of trying to burn paintings he received, according to court documents. He is charged with tampering with evidence, introducing contraband into prison — both felonies — and misdemeanor misconduct for accepting the paintings, the documents showed.