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Notorious assassin Richard Matt whose 2015 jail break impressed a TV sequence might have killed girl in 1993

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Convicted assassin Richard Matt who escaped a New York jail with one other inmate, sparking a nationwide manhunt earlier than he was shot dead in 2015, might have killed a younger mom greater than twenty years earlier, new court docket papers allege.

David Sweat, who broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility with Matt seven years in the past, wrote in an affidavit that his buddy informed him he was behind the brutal strangulation and stabbing demise of Buffalo housewife Deborah Meindl in 1993.


The onetime cellmates, each convicted murderers, famously used instruments smuggled in by their married lover, then-prison employee Joyce Mitchell, to carve by a wall to freedom, setting off a 23-day manhunt. 

The daring jailbreak that ended with a federal agent fatally capturing Matt and Sweat’s recapture close to the Canadian border captivated the nation and impressed the TV series “Escape at Dannemora” starring Benicio del Toro and Patricia Arquette.

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Sweat’s new declare of Matt’s position within the Meindl murder was made throughout an Oct. 18 interview with attorneys for 2 Buffalo males – James Pugh and Brian Lorenzo — who say they had been framed for the girl’s slaying and are attempting to get their trial convictions thrown out.


“Matt used a tie to strangle the sufferer,” Sweat wrote within the affidavit, greater than half of which was redacted. “Whereas Matt strangled the sufferer with the tie, Matt interrogated her about whether or not she had informed anybody else what she knew concerning the officer.” 

He stated his slain pal informed him he had killed 33-year-old Meindl, a nursing pupil, on the behest of a corrupt cop. 

Former prison worker Joyce Mitchell was romantically linked to prison escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat.

Former jail employee Joyce Mitchell was romantically linked to jail escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat.

Attorneys Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, who represents Pugh, and Ilann Maazel, who represents Lorenzo, say the hit might have been ordered by retired Tonawanda Police Division Det. David Bentley, who feared Meindl, his alleged mistress, was about to show him in for unspecified crimes, court docket papers allege.

Two Erie County prosecutors who had been assigned earlier this 12 months to re-investigate the case in opposition to Pugh and Lorenzo allegedly got here to consider that Matt and Bentley had been the true killers, court docket papers allege. The DA’s workplace subsequently turned over vital data supporting this declare to the protection to adjust to legal guidelines that require disclosure of exculpatory data, in line with the filings.


Erie County District Legal professional John Flynn disagreed with the prosecutors’ findings and took them off the case as a result of they “didn’t settle for my resolution with the professionalism anticipated of profession prosecutors,” he stated in a press release to Fox Information.

 Sweat stated that Matt and Bentley went again years and allegedly labored collectively to rob drug sellers, in line with the affidavit.

The attorneys for Pugh and Lorenzo level to what they name one other piece of key proof that casts doubt on their purchasers’ guilt. The homicide weapons had been not too long ago examined for DNA, and Pugh and Lorenzo weren’t a match. However neither was Matt, in line with the papers.

Benicio Del Toro played Richard Matt in the TV series "Escape at Dannemora" about the infamous prisonbreak.

Benicio Del Toro performed Richard Matt within the TV sequence “Escape at Dannemora” concerning the notorious prisonbreak.
(2012 Getty Pictures)

Throughout the 1994 trial, prosecutors argued that Pugh and Lorenzo had been smalltime burglars who killed Meidl throughout a botched house invasion. Pugh was not too long ago paroled and Lorenzo continues to be behind bars.

Meidl was discovered by her 9-year-old daughter on her return house from college  Feb. 17, 1993. She’d been stabbed quite a few instances, the tie used to strangle her nonetheless wrapped round her neck and her wrists had been handcuffed behind her again. Bentley was the lead detective on Meindl’s case.

Patricia Arquette played corrections officer Joyce Mitchell in the TV series "Escape at Dannemora" about the infamous prisonbreak. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)

Patricia Arquette performed corrections officer Joyce Mitchell within the TV sequence “Escape at Dannemora” concerning the notorious prisonbreak. (Picture by John Lamparski/WireImage)

Flynn stated there isn’t any credible proof to hyperlink Richard Matt to the homicide of Meindl or that Meindl was having an affair with Bentley. “With none new, credible proof, I’ll proceed to oppose this movement,” the DA informed Fox Information in a press release. 

Justice Christopher Burns stated Wednesday in Erie County Supreme Courtroom that he needed to evaluation the papers from each events and would both vacate the convictions or maintain a listening to on the matter Dec. 13.


Sweat is locked up at Shawangunk Correctional Facility serving a life sentence for first-degree homicide and escape. Matt had been serving 25 to life for beating a person to demise once they made their jail break.

“This case has taken many twist and turns however one factor has remained clear, which is that there was by no means sufficient proof to convict James Pugh of this homicide,” stated Margulis-Ohnuma. Maazel did not instantly return a request for remark.

Bentley, who has denied the allegations,  didn’t reply to a request in search of remark.

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