ALBANY, N.Y. — A convicted murderer who led police on a massive three-week manhunt after he broke out of a northern New York prison pleaded guilty Friday to three felonies related to his escape.
David Sweat, 35, was surrounded by corrections officers as he entered Clinton County Court in Plattsburgh, N.Y., where he calmly admitted to his role in the headline-grabbing plot and entered his guilty pleas.
Sweat pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree escape and one count of first-degree promoting prison contraband, all of which stemmed from his June breakout from the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y.
He will be sentenced Feb. 3 at 10 a.m., though he is already serving a life sentence without parole for killing Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Tarsia in 2002. The charges each carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
Sweat and fellow escapee Richard Matt used blades and other tools smuggled in by a prison worker, Joyce Mitchell, to cut through their cells and into the prison’s pipe system, where they escaped through a nearby manhole the morning of June 6.
Matt, 48, was killed by authorities when he was discovered three weeks later. Sweat was captured after 23 days on the loose, with the ensuing manhunt costing the state at least $1 million a day.
Mitchell, 51, agreed to a plea deal for her role in the escape. She will serve up to seven years in prison.
Sweat, meanwhile, will probably be ordered to pay some level of restitution for his crime. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at the Five Points Correctional Facility in Seneca County.
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