27 Jun 2015

Escaped US prisoner killed by police

9:09 pm on 27 June 2015

One of two murderers who staged a dramatic escape from a New York State prison has been killed by police after weeks on the run, officials say.

Convicted murderers Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat used power tools to escape the Clinton Correctional Facility.

Richard Matt, left, was shot dead but David Sweat remains at large. Photo: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo / AFP

Richard Matt, 49, was shot dead in woodlands near the town of Malone, about 50km from the prison.

David Sweat, another convicted murderer, remains at large as police continue to search the area.

The pair escaped through the prison sewer system after using power tools to break out of their cell on 6 June.

The escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, set off a massive manhunt.

On Friday police were called to an area south of Malone where a camper van had been attacked. They found evidence left behind by the pair in a nearby hunting cabin.

Matt was later found in woodland armed with a shotgun, police say. When he refused to surrender officers shot him dead, they add.

A search for Sweat is continuing in the area. Police say he is dangerous and warned the public not to approach him.

Manhunt timeline

  • 5 June: David Sweat and Richard Matt escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora
  • 6-7 June: Possible sighting of pair in Dannemora
  • 9 June: Search focuses on Willsboro area after another possible sighting
  • 10 June: Police close off Route 374 between Dannemora and Cadyville and search expands to neighbouring Vermont
  • 11 June: Police dogs find food wrapper and footprint at suspected camp site near Dannemora
  • 15 June: Prison worker Joyce Mitchell pleads not guilty to aiding the prisoners
  • 24 June: Prison worker Gene Palmer charged with aiding the prisoners
  • 25 June: Richard Matt is shot and killed near the Canadian border

Prisoner worker Joyce Mitchell has been charged with aiding the inmates in their escape.

Prosecutors allege that she gave the men power tools that allowed them to saw through a steel cell wall before bashing a hole through a brick wall and crawling through.

Ms Mitchell denies the charges.

Before their escape, Matt was serving a prison sentence of 25 years to life for the killing and dismembering of his former boss.

Sweat was serving a life sentence for murdering a sheriff's deputy.