- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The son of a New York prison worker who helped two convicted killers escape has been charged with domestic assault in Vermont.

The Burlington Free Press reports (https://bfpne.ws/1OylzSH ) 22-year-old Tobey Mitchell of Shelburne pleaded not guilty Monday to charges including first-degree aggravated domestic assault. He’s accused of choking his wife.

Police say they responded Nov. 28 after Mitchell’s wife flagged down a car and asked the driver to call for help. She had the couple’s 1-year-old daughter and told police that her husband, who she said was drinking, choked her after a confrontation about her planned trip out of state.

Police say that in an interview Mitchell told them his marriage had been strained for months following financial difficulties and the arrest of his mother, Joyce Mitchell.

Joyce Mitchell provided the tools that allowed Richard Matt and David Sweat to cut their way out of New York’s maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in June. After a lengthy manhunt, Matt was shot dead by police; Sweat was wounded.



Joyce Mitchell has pleaded guilty to charges in the case. She has been sentenced to up to seven years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $80,000 in restitution to the state.

Tobey Mitchell told police he didn’t choke his wife, but pushed her out of the way when she blocked a door.

Mitchell’s lawyer says people shouldn’t jump to conclusions about the family.

“What happened with his mother was a terrible thing, and it certainly put him under stress and pressure, but he’s not a bad young man,” said Ted Kenney.

Tobey Mitchell has been released on $50,000 bail.

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