Joyce Mitchell, the prison seamstress who pleaded guilty to helping inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escape the Clinton Correctional Facility, told Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview that she's "not the monster" people think she is.
"I'm really not. I'm just somebody that got caught up in something that she couldn't get out of," Mitchell, 51, said during the interview that took place in Clinton County Jail, where she is awaiting sentencing.
"I am so sorry for everything that everyone went through because of me," Mitchell said. "I never, never wanted this to ever happen. Never. I would take it all back, if I could. But I can't."
Mitchell pleaded guilty to bringing contraband into the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, a felony, and to criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor. She faces up to seven years in prison when she is sentenced on Sept. 28.
Mitchell provided chisels, hacksaw blades, a punch and screwdriver bits to Matt and Sweat, and allegedly planned to drive their getaway car the night of June 6 but stood them up. After three weeks on the run near the Canadian border, Matt was shot and killed on June 26, while Sweat was shot and captured on June 28.
Asked by Lauer whether Richard Matt had "complete control" over her, Mitchell responded affirmatively: "Yes. He was good at that."
During the interview, Mitchell also told Lauer, "I just got in over my head."
"I was going through a point in my life — a lot of people go through depression. A lot of people go through that. And I just got in over my head. And I couldn't get out. And I couldn't tell anybody. I couldn't tell my husband. Couldn't tell my family. I couldn't tell my co-workers. I couldn't tell anybody. There's nobody you can tell," Mitchell explained.
The interview will air in two parts on TODAY, Monday and Friday, September 14 and 18, and as a special two-hour Dateline on Friday, September 18 at 9 p.m. ET.