Convicted killer from Niagara County among two prison escapees

Jun 6, 2015

Two convicted murderers have escaped from a maximum-security prison near the Canadian border in New York's north country.

Authorities say 48-year-old Richard Matt and 34-year-old David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

Richard Matt (left) and David Sweat

Matt, who is from Niagara County, is serving a sentence of 25 years to life. He was convicted of murder, kidnapping and robbery in the 1997 beating death of William Rickerson -- a 76-year-old North Tonawanda businessman.

Sweat is serving a sentence of life without parole. He was convicted of first-degree murder for killing a Broome County sheriff's deputy in 2002.

A New York State Police commander says the two men were missing Saturday morning. Reports from the scene say roadblocks were set up in the area.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was scheduled to attend a briefing on the escape at Dannemora early Saturday afternoon.