Escaped Convict David Sweat Says He Left Richard Matt Behind Because He Was 'Slowing Him Down'

Sweat was finally apprehended Sunday after three weeks on the run

Photo: New York State Police

David Sweat had split up from fellow escaped convict Richard Matt a few days before the latter was shot dead in a confrontation with police.

Sweat, 35, was captured Sunday following three weeks on the run. After being shot twice in the torso, the convicted murderer was airlifted to Albany Medical Center for treatment, where his condition remains serious, according to the Associated Press.

But Sweat is talking to authorities about his time on the lam with the 49-year-old Matt – and what their plan was after they escaped Clinton Correctional Facility, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Prison tailor Joyce Mitchell, who allegedly had a sexual relationship with one or both of the escapees, was supposed to pick them up after they emerged from a manhole outside the prison, Sweat told officials. But she got cold feet and never showed. So the escaped convicts abandoned their plan to head to Mexico in favor of the more nearby Canada.

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For more than two weeks, the two stuck together, avoiding cops and living in the woods in upstate New York as they made their way north.

However, Matt became a burden for the younger Sweat after developing severe blisters on his feet. “Sweat felt that Matt was slowing him down,” Cuomo said.

So he left him behind – and Matt was shot and killed shortly afterwards, with Sweat being caught just two days later.

What can Sweat expect now that he’s back in the hands of law enforcement? “There’s certainly no plea bargain that we could put out there,” Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told CNN. “The Department of Corrections obviously wants information; they want answers as well, relative to how this escape occurred. So on that end, whatever benefit that may be for David Sweat, only time will tell.”

One thing’s for sure: Sweat’s unlikely to go back to Clinton Correctional Facility, where he’d never be safe.

“The fact that he was a rat, ratting out prisoners … they’re going to be spitting on him,” former inmate Louis Ferrante told CNN.

Meanwhile, Mitchell has said she is “ecstatic” that the manhunt is over “and also that it appears no harm came to any other person,” her lawyer said in a statement Monday.

She is charged with helping the prisoners escape, as is another correctional officer, Gene Palmer.

On Tuesday, 12 prison workers were placed on leave as part of the review of the murderers’ escape, CNN reports.

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