Guard Freed, Served Four Months for Role in New York Prison Break

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -

A former corrections officer who inadvertently helped two killers escape from a northern New York prison is free after serving four months in a county jail.

Gene Palmer was released Monday after serving two-thirds of his six-month sentence. He declined to comment to reporters outside the jail.

The 58-year-old Palmer admitted providing Richard Matt and David Sweat with tools, paint and access to a catwalk electrical box at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. But he said he never knew they planned to break out.

Palmer gave the inmates frozen hamburger containing the hacksaw blade they used to escape. He was convicted of promoting prison contraband, tampering with evidence and official misconduct.

After a three-week manhunt last summer, Matt was shot and killed. Sweat was wounded and caught.