CRIME

The Latest: Lawyer says NY prison guard who passed inmates meat didn't know about escape plot

  • A New York State Police officer escorts suspended Clinton Correctional Facility guard Gene Palmer, left, from Plattsburgh Town Court in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, June 24, 2015.  Palmer is believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to two Clinton Correctional Facility inmates before they escaped on June 6.  He faces charges including promoting prison contraband and tampering with physical evidence, state police said.  (Rob Fountain/The Press-Republican via AP)

    A New York State Police officer escorts suspended Clinton Correctional Facility guard Gene Palmer, left, from Plattsburgh Town Court in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Palmer is believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to two Clinton Correctional Facility inmates before they escaped on June 6. He faces charges including promoting prison contraband and tampering with physical evidence, state police said. (Rob Fountain/The Press-Republican via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • New York State corrections officers search for two escaped prisoners from Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. Hundreds of searchers checked all-terrain vehicle trails and logging roads and went door-to-door in far northern New York trying to close in on David Sweat and Richard Matt, who escaped from the maximum-security prison more than two weeks ago. (Jason Hunter/The Watertown Daily Times via AP)  SYRACUSE OUT MANDATORY CREDIT

    New York State corrections officers search for two escaped prisoners from Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. Hundreds of searchers checked all-terrain vehicle trails and logging roads and went door-to-door in far northern New York trying to close in on David Sweat and Richard Matt, who escaped from the maximum-security prison more than two weeks ago. (Jason Hunter/The Watertown Daily Times via AP) SYRACUSE OUT MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Border Patrol agents search for two escaped prisoners from Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. Hundreds of searchers checked all-terrain vehicle trails and logging roads and went door-to-door in far northern New York trying to close in on David Sweat and Richard Matt, who escaped from the maximum-security prison more than two weeks ago. (Jason Hunter/The Watertown Daily Times via AP)  SYRACUSE OUT MANDATORY CREDIT

    U.S. Border Patrol agents search for two escaped prisoners from Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Malone, N.Y. Hundreds of searchers checked all-terrain vehicle trails and logging roads and went door-to-door in far northern New York trying to close in on David Sweat and Richard Matt, who escaped from the maximum-security prison more than two weeks ago. (Jason Hunter/The Watertown Daily Times via AP) SYRACUSE OUT MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

The latest on the hunt for two inmates who escaped from a maximum-security prison (all times local):

11:40 p.m.

A lawyer for an upstate New York prison guard arrested after the escape of two inmates says his client had no knowledge they were trying to break out and didn't know meat he gave them had contraband hidden inside it.

Correction officer Gene Palmer is believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to the inmates, who were reported missing from the Clinton County Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.

Defense lawyer Andrew Brockway says Palmer admits passing the meat but had no knowledge of any contraband inside. Brockway says Palmer continues to cooperate with the investigation to help capture the fugitives.

Brockway says Palmer will plead not guilty at his arraignment Thursday on charges of promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct.

A prison tailor shop employee also has been charged with helping the inmates escape.

State police have vowed to find the inmates, who are assumed to be armed.

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10:50 p.m.

An upstate New York prison guard arrested in connection with the escapes of two inmates has appeared in court to face criminal charges.

Gene Palmer appeared before a judge Wednesday night to face charges of promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct. He's being held on $25,000 bail pending arraignment Thursday.

Defense lawyer Andrew Brockway says Palmer will plead not guilty.

Authorities say Palmer is believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt, who were reported missing from the Clinton County Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.

Authorities say the inmates cut through the steel wall at the back of their cells in their escape.

Prison employee Joyce Mitchell also has been charged with helping them. She has pleaded not guilty.

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9:20 p.m.

A correction officer at an upstate New York maximum-security prison has become the second worker there arrested in connection with the escapes of two inmates.

State police say Gene Palmer faces charges including promoting prison contraband and tampering with physical evidence. He was to be arraigned Wednesday night in Plattsburgh. A call to his attorney seeking comment wasn't answered.

Inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt were reported missing from the Clinton County Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.

Authorities say they cut through the steel wall at the back of their cells, crawled down a catwalk, broke through a brick wall, cut their way into and out of a steam pipe and then sliced through the chain and lock on a manhole cover outside the prison.

Prison employee Joyce Mitchell has been charged with helping them escape. She has pleaded not guilty.