Escapee out of prison infirmary; faces disciplinary charges

AP News
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Posted: Jul 15, 2015 4:47 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Former fugitive David Sweat was released from a prison infirmary Wednesday and is facing new disciplinary charges stemming from his escape from an upstate New York correctional facility.

The 35-year-old murderer, who was shot and wounded during his June 28 capture, is being housed at the Special Housing Unit at Five Points Correctional Facility in central New York. Inmates in that maximum security unit are kept in solitary cells for 23 hours a day.

The disciplinary charges relate to Sweat's actions as an inmate and are separate from any criminal charges that could be filed against Sweat relating to the prison break, state prison officials said Wednesday.

"A hearing officer will determine the extent of Sweat's misconduct and, if appropriate, impose a penalty including continued placement within the Special Housing Unit," the state's Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in a statement.

Sweat and fellow convicted murderer Richard Matt escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in early June. Matt was shot dead on June 26 in woods near Malone, about 30 miles from the prison. Sweat was shot by a trooper and captured two days later near the Canadian border. He was treated at an Albany hospital before being moved to the infirmary at Five Points.

Authorities say Matt and Sweat cut through their adjoining cell walls over months, climbed down catwalks to tunnels, got hold of contractors' tools, broke through a brick wall, cut into and out of a steam pipe and cut a chain holding a manhole cover outside the prison to get away. Sweat is serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff's deputy; Matt, 49, was serving 25 years to life after being convicted of kidnapping and dismembering his former boss.

They got a guard to give them art supplies, tools and access to a catwalk in exchange for favors and paintings, and they shared their escape plans with a tailor-shop instructor who gave them hacksaw blades and even agreed to be their getaway driver before she backed out, prosecutors said. The guard and instructor have pleaded not guilty to various charges.