Richard Matt was reportedly drunk when he refused to comply with border patrol agents on June 26 and ultimately was shot dead. The fugitive 48-year-old inmate, along with fellow con David Sweat, busted out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York back on June 6. Matt was killed. Two days later, Sweat was cornered and nabbed near the Canadian border.
Writes CBS News: “Richard Matt – who once vowed never to be taken alive – was fatally shot Friday during an encounter with border patrol agents about 30 miles west of the prison he escaped from with David Sweat on June 6. Matt was sick and drunk when police caught up with him.”
Investigators said that Matt’s body “reeked of alcohol,” and that the soiled condition of his underwear indicated he was suffering from the effects of consuming contaminated water and food.
Police said Matt and Sweat survived by busting into hunting and fishing cabins in the northern Adirondack mountains. According to investigators, at least two properties had been broken into, and empty bottles of rum and gin were found scattered about.
“Anyone in the woods and on the run from the law so to speak is not getting a full eight hours sleep, they’re not eating well and they have to keep moving,” commented Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill.
The fact that Matt was drunk may have led to his careless mistake of clearing his throat, police said, giving away his hidden location. The shooting of Matt, followed by the successful apprehension of Sweat, capped a three-week manhunt worthy of a feature film – a trail of candy wrappers, booze, a failed car-jack and a fatal standoff.
Matt had been serving a sentence of 25 years to life for the 1997 kidnapping and beating death of his former boss. Sweat was given a life sentence for the 2002 killing of a sheriff’s deputy. Officials repeatedly said both men were armed and considered violent and extremely dangerous; Matt used his bare hands to snap his boss’s neck, and then used a saw to dismember him. Sweat shot the deputy a dozen times after a failed gun sale, then used his vehicle to run him over.
Search dogs initially picked up a scent around 2 a.m. Friday morning after reports of vandalized cabins came in. As state troopers closed in on the area, an additional report came in from a man who was pulling a trailer and heard a loud bang. Pulling over, he inspected the trailer for a flat, and later found a gunshot hole. Police said they believe that Matt attempted to shoot and kill the driver in order to commandeer the truck.
State Police Lieutenant Joseph D’Amico said police confronted Matt but that he was combative and didn’t comply with their orders. Agents “verbally challenged Matt and told him to put up his hands,” but he refused and turned his weapon on the agents, D’Amico said.