Watch CBS News

Escaped Killers Richard Matt, David Sweat Added To 15 Most Wanted List

DANNEMORA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Escaped upstate inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt were added to the U.S. Marshals Service 15 Most Wanted fugitives list Thursday.

New York state police this week expanded their the search for the two escaped murderers from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate Dannemora beyond a 16-square-mile area of woods, fields and swamps where the manhunt has been most intense -- even as rainy weather hampers their progress.

Sweat and Matt escaped June 6 from the maximum-security prison near the Canadian border.

The addition of Sweat and Matt to the 15 Most Wanted list is intended to expand public awareness and generate new leads.

"The agency's 15 Most Wanted fugitive list is reserved for the worst of the worst. There is no question David Sweat and Richard Matt fall into this category," U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton said in a news release. "While their brazen prison escape has left the public on edge, it has only ignited our sheer determination to bring them back to justice. Together with our law enforcement partners, the Marshals will work tirelessly to ensure the threat they pose and their run from the law is short lived."

PHOTOS: Manhunt For Escaped Murderers

As the search for the men stretched into a 13th day Thursday, correction officials lifted a lockdown that had limited activities in the prison. They said inmates are eating again in the mess hall rather than in their cells and a number are going to work assignments. Recreation activities and use of the phones are also resuming. Visitors are expected to be allowed starting Friday.

Meanwhile, the husband of the prison worker charged with helping the killers flee by providing them with hacksaw blades, chisels and other tools said he was ``blown away'' by word that his wife discussed having Sweat and Matt inmates kill him, his attorney said Thursday.

Joyce and Lyle Mitchell both worked as instructors at the prison.

Authorities have said Mitchell, who got close to the men while working with them in the prison tailor shop, discussed killing her husband.

``Joyce Mitchell tells us that was discussed between her and Matt and that upon their escape they were going to return back to Joyce Mitchell's home at which time Matt and Sweat were going to kill her husband,'' said Andrew Wylie, Clinton County district attorney.

Lyle Mitchell's lawyer, Peter Dumas, said Thursday that his client was shocked by word of the plot and that Joyce Mitchell had told her husband she couldn't go through with it.

``Toward the end, Joyce had told Lyle -- and we have no reason to doubt it -- that she told Sweat and Matt that she wasn't going to go through with it,'' he said. ``At that point, they threatened her by threatening Lyle, saying they were going to have someone on the outside do something to him or someone on the inside when he was back at work do something to him so I think it was a point of control.''

Lyle Mitchell is cooperating with authorities and isn't facing charges.

``He's still in love with her, but I don't know that he is going to be very supportive,'' Dumas said.

Joyce Mitchell has pleaded not guilty.

Sweat, 35, was serving a life sentence without parole in the killing of a sheriff's deputy. Matt, 48, was doing 25 years to life for the kidnap, torture and hacksaw dismemberment of his former boss.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.