Joyce Mitchell: Chinese Dinner With Husband Provided 'Moment of Clarity' for Prison Worker Who Was Supposed to Drive Getaway Vehicle

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Joyce Mitchell is locked up for her role in the prison escapes of Richard Matt and David Sweat from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. She was supposed to have picked the two inmates up in her vehicle and returned to her home where they planned to kill her husband, Lyle Mitchell.

It was during what would have been their last meal together that Joyce Mitchell had a "moment of clarity." As she and Lyle Mitchell ate Chinese food after work that day, she decided she couldn't go through with what she had previously arranged.

“She had a moment of clarity,” an official said during an interview with the Buffalo News. “They went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant after work at the prison, and Joyce Mitchell had a realization that this was D-Day, and the fantasy she had been living for almost a year was now becoming a reality that included the murder of her husband, who had been a good and supportive man.”

Without Joyce Mitchell to drive them, the two inmates abandoned their idea of heading to Mexico, and they instead hid out for almost three weeks in the woods of upstate New York.

Richard Matt was captured and killed on June 26th. David Sweat was shot, but captured alive, just two days later.

The two had planned their prison break for a year, and Joyce Mitchell's "moment of clarity" over that Chinese dinner put an end to a year's worth of work.

Richard Matt worked in the prison tailor shop that Joyce Mitchell supervised. Although she admits the two had grown close, she maintains they never had a sexual relationship. She did provide some of the things he and Sweat used to break out of prison, however.

“He gave her specs of what he needed. Hacksaw blades, special eyeglasses with lights attached so that they could work in dark places, a hexagon drill bit, replacement batteries for the eyeglasses. She used her husband’s Amazon account to make purchases,” a law enforcement official said.

Joyce Mitchell wasn't the only prison worker arrested for aiding in the escape. Gene Palmer has also been arrested.

How do you suppose Lyle Mitchell--Joyce Mitchell's husband--must feel about what his wife has done?

The man will likely always be grateful, despite those feelings, for eating that Chinese food.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.