Killers' escape: Two jail officials charged

NEW YORK - A second prison worker was charged on Wednesday over the escape of two convicted killers weeks ago from a maximum-security New York jail, with police warning they are likely to be armed and dangerous.

Richard Matt, 49, and David Sweat, 35, used power tools to cut their way out of their cells at the Clinton Correctional Facility before dawn on June 6 in a spectacular prison break likened to a Hollywood movie.

The escape sparked a huge manhunt, with more than 1,000 agents backed by sniffer dogs and helicopters deployed to find the men, who have reportedly been spotted in several locations in recent days in upstate New York.

Corrections officer Gene Palmer, 57, has been charged with promoting prison contraband, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of official misconduct. Palmer allegedly helped smuggle in tools and other banned items hidden in hamburger meat, said county district attorney Andrew Wylie, according to ABC News.

Another prison worker, Joyce Mitchell, has already been charged with facilitating the escape by providing hacksaw blades and drill bits to the pair, again hidden in hamburger meat.

Palmer's lawyer said that while the corrections officer had delivered the meat to the prisoners, he had not been aware that the packages were stuffed with contraband items.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline 'Killers' escape: Two jail officials charged'. Print Edition | Subscribe