Former NY Corrections Officer Involved in Prison Escape Released from Jail

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A former corrections officer who aided two convicted killers in their escape last June from an upstate New York prison was released four months early for good behavior.

Gene Palmer was released just after 8 a.m. Monday, pausing briefly to tell media that he did not wish to comment, before getting into a minivan and driving off.

Palmer pleaded guilty in February to “promoting prison contraband” charges and to official misconduct in connection with the escape of convicted murders Richard Matt and David Sweat. He was sentenced to serve six months in Clinton County Jail in Plattsburgh.

According to prosecutors, Palmer gave at least one of the prison escapees a screwdriver and a wrench to help fix electrical breakers in the catwalk area behind their cells. Palmer told investigators he supervised Matt and Sweat doing the work and took the tools back before the end of his shift, the official said. Authorities have said Matt and Sweat used the catwalks during their escape.

Palmer, who worked at the prison for 27 years, also took frozen meat that had been embedded with smuggled tools to the inmates’ cell area in the now-closed honor block.

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