Directed and written by Stephen Tolkin, Lifetime’s ‘New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell’ is a movie that explores the 2015 escape of convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt from the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. The duo, having been friends for a while, seduced and manipulated prison tailor Joyce Mitchell as a part of their elaborate scheme to achieve freedom. Yet, they were caught after being on the run for 20+ days. So now, let’s find out all that there is to know about David Sweat, shall we?
Who is David Sweat?
Born on June 14, 1980, David Paul Sweat had a troubled childhood marked by violent tenors in Binghamton, New York, which inadvertently led him to become involved with marijuana in his teens. He was subsequently sent to Florida to be raised by relatives, except things didn’t improve as he ended up being arrested and convicted for many robberies he carried out along with his cousin Jeffrey A. Nabinger Jr. in the late 1990s.
The thief, though, broke every bound on July 4, 2002. After burglarizing a gun shop in Pennsylvania, David and his cohorts (including Nabinger) returned to New York. While in the state, Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Tarsia spotted him while transferring the stolen pistols and ammunitions from one car to another. To avoid getting caught, David opened fire on the cop before running him over with a car. Nabinger then shot Tarsia two more times right in their face.
Therefore, within a short period, they were arrested, and David pled guilty to first-degree murder to evade the death penalty. Instead, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. That’s how he wound up at the Clinton Correctional Facility, where he met Richard Matt, who had kidnapped, robbed, killed, and dismembered his former boss in 1997. Their friendship blossomed in 2010, and they planned their escape by 2015.
On June 5, with the help of Joyce Mitchell, whom they’d seduced over the years, and a correctional officer who unknowingly supplied them the tools they needed to break out, David and Richard escaped. However, they had to abandon their original idea of fleeing to Mexico as Joyce failed to arrive with the getaway car near the manhole they’d successfully dug from their cells. So, they headed towards Canada before separating. Eventually, the hunt for them ceased when Richard was shot and killed on June 26, 2015, and David was shot and arrested on June 28 near the border.
Where is David Sweat Now?
After David Sweat’s arrest, since he was shot in the shoulder and arm, he was transported to the Alice Hyde Medical Center and then transferred to the Albany Medical Center. Upon interrogation, David asserted the point that he was the mastermind of this dramatic escape plan, compared the entire thing to the popular film ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ and implied that the note they’d left behind, reading “Have a nice day,” was a nice touch in his mind. David was ultimately convicted of two counts of escape and one count of prison contraband, sentenced to an additional 3.5 to 7 years.
At his sentencing, David apologized to the community and the people for the fear he instilled in them during the 22 days he was officially on the run. However, his actions at the time spoke louder than his excuses. Thus, he was immediately sent to the Five Points Correctional Unit in Romulus, a maximum-security penitentiary, and placed in a 23-hour solitary detention housing facility. Today, though, at the age of 41, David is incarcerated at the Auburn Correctional Facility, where he is expected to remain for the rest of his natural life, especially considering all his crimes.
Read More: Where is Joyce Mitchell Now?