A second worker at a maximum-security prison accused of helping two murderers before their brazen escape was being arraigned last night after being accused of delivering frozen meat to the men with tools hidden inside.
Officials at Clinton County Jail said 57-year-old Gene Palmer was released just after midnight after using a credit card to pay his $25,000 (€22,000) bail.
His lawyer, Andrew Brockway, said his client had no knowledge any contraband was inside the meat and didn't know the inmates were trying to escape. Palmer will plead not guilty to charges of promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct.
Court documents accuse Palmer with providing the pair with a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. They also say he burned and buried paintings he received from the inmates.
David Sweat and Richard Matt remained on the run after slipping out of the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6.
Authorities said they cut through the steel wall at the back of their cells, crawled down a catwalk, cut their way into and out of a steam pipe and emerged from a manhole outside the prison.
Sweat (35) was serving a life sentence without parole in the killing of a sheriff's deputy. Matt, who turned 49 yesterday, was doing 25 years to life in the kidnapping, torture and hacksaw dismemberment of his former boss.