A second employee at a New York prison was arrested Wednesday following the escape of two convicted killers earlier this month.
Officer Gene Palmer, who had been placed on leave Friday as part of the investigation, was accused of aiding the June 6 escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat from the Clinton County Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
Palmer was arraigned late Wednesday on charges of promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct. Bail was set at $25,000 in cash or a $50,000 bond. Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told Fox News that a scheduling conference to set Palmer’s next court appearance or schedule a felony hearing would take place at 4 p.m. local time Thursday.
An official close to the investigation told The Albany Times Union that authorities were looking into whether Palmer assisted the escapees by providing them with tools. He added that Matt and Sweat may have fooled Palmer by repeatedly tripping a breaker that fed electricity to their cells and telling Palmer they could fix the problem with simple hand tools.
Palmer, 57, has worked for the prison for more than 25 years, according to the paper.
Earlier this month, prison worker Joyce Mitchell was arrested and accused of giving the two inmates tools to cut through cells in order to escape. According to authorities, she planned to be the convicts’ getaway driver but backed out. Mitchell pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Sweat, 35, was serving a life sentence without parole for killing a sheriff’s deputy. Matt, 48, was doing 25 years to life for the 1997 kidnapping, torture and hacksaw dismemberment of his former boss. Authorities say they cut through the steel wall at the back of their cells, crawled down a catwalk, broke through a brick wall, cut their way into and out of a steam pipe and then sliced through the chain and lock on a manhole cover outside the prison.
Read more: Fox News