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Prison worker hid tools in hamburgers that helped convicted killers escape

Joyce Mitchell reached a deal with prosecutors.

Image: Associated Press

Updated at 7:55pm

A PRISON WORKER who helped two convicted killers escape a maximum security facility in New York was sentenced to up to seven years on Monday.

Joyce Mitchell, 51, wept as the sentence was read out. She has admitted helping the men by smuggling in tools in frozen hamburger meat.

They used a drill bit and hacksaw to cut their way out of their cells and break out of the upstate New York prison in June. They became the subjects of a nearly three-week-long manhunt that made world headlines.

“If I could take it all back I would,” Mitchell said, according to NBC News. “I live with regret every day and will for the rest of my life.”

She reiterated her excuse that she had helped the two men — David Sweat and Richard Matt – only because she believed they were going to harm members of her family.

“I just don’t find that explanation credible,” Clinton County Court Judge Kevin Ryan told her, NBC said.

The judge sentenced her to two and a third to seven years. The charge was contraband.

Mitchell had worked for seven years worked as a seamstress at the Clinton County correctional facility.

In an interview earlier this month Mitchell told NBC that one of the inmates told her he loved her, and that he wanted to kill her husband.

Mitchell said the two murderers also had learned where her mother and one of her three children lives, and that she was worried about their safety as well.

Matt was shot dead by a federal agent during the manhunt, and Sweat was apprehended just south of the Canadian border.

Read: Prison worker helped inmates escape after getting “caught up in the fantasy” >

Read: One escaped killer ‘shot dead by police’ in New York >

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