Former Guard Implicated in NY Prison Break Pleads Guilty

(AP/Hamodia) -

A former guard has admitted he unwittingly helped two killers escape from a northern New York prison by smuggling in tools.

Gene Palmer pleaded guilty in court on Monday to a felony count of smuggling in needle-nose pliers and a screwdriver, and to two misdemeanor counts related to prison contraband and official misconduct. A judge sentenced him to six month in jail and about $5,000 in penalties.

Palmer also resigned his $74,644-a-year job.

Palmer admitted providing inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat with tools and access to a catwalk electrical box at Clinton Correctional Facility. He was accused of giving them hamburger meat that had hacksaw blades hidden inside. His lawyer says he did not know what was in the meat.

After a three-week manhunt that captivated the nation, Matt was shot and killed by police on June 26, and Sweat was shot and captured two days later. Earlier this month, Sweat was sentenced to an additional 3 1/2 to seven years in prison for the escape and a similar, consecutive sentence for prison contraband.