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Joyce Mitchell to pay more than $80,000 for her role in murderers’ escape

Posted at 1:07 PM, Nov 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-06 13:07:00-05

Former New York prison worker Joyce Mitchell will have to pay authorities more than $80,000 for her part in helping two convicted murderers escape.

At a court hearing Friday, Clinton County prosecutor Nicholas Evanovich called the payment — $79,841 restitution plus a 10% surcharge — the maximum amount allowed under the law. Mitchell’s attorney, Stephen Johnston, consented to the restitution and said his client would withdraw a related appeal.

“This now brings to an end a difficult time for our community,” Clinton County Judge Kevin Ryan said at the close of the brief court hearing. “And I am pleased that an agreement was reached relative to restitution.”

On June 6, other prison workers discovered that inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat had broken out of the upstate New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility. Their escape spurred a massive, three-week long manhunt that culminated when police shot and killed Matt, then recaptured Sweat two days later.

Mitchell agreed to a plea bargain in July and then was sentenced to up to seven years behind bars for first-degree promotion of prison contraband, a felony, and a concurrent year for fourth-degree criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor.

During the sentencing in September, the judge said New York state had incurred $23 million in overtime costs related to the manhunt, and “no doubt millions of dollars more.”

Mitchell was ordered then to pay $6,375 in fines, court fees and surcharges. Prosecutors had pushed originally for more than $119,000 in restitution.

CNN’s Jennifer Feldman contributed to this report.