Autopsy reveals prison escapee Richard Matt was drunk when shot by police

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The autopsy of a New York prison escapee who was shot by police revealed that he was drunk at the time of his confrontation with an officer.

The lab results released Wednesday said Richard Matt had a blood alcohol content of .18% at the time of his death. That's more than twice the legal limit of .08 in New York.

A Border Patrol agent shot Matt near the Canadian border in Franklin County June 26, about 30 miles from the prison. Police got a tip that there was a misplaced liquor bottle at an upstate New York cabin. A short time later, the agent caught up with Matt.

Matt and David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6. Police said they used power tools to saw through a steel cell wall and several steel steam pipes, bashed a hole through a 2-foot-thick brick wall and squirmed through pipes before reaching their short-lived freedom outside.

Sweat was arrested two days near the Canadian border after Matt was killed. He was shot but survived the capture and was sent to another prison.

Prosecutors said Joyce Mitchell, a prison tailoring shop instructor who got close to the men while working with them, had agreed to be their getaway driver but backed out because she felt guilty for participating. Mitchell pleaded guilty July 28 and faces a sentence of 2 1/3 to seven years in prison as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

More than 1,000 officers were involved in the massive manhunt.