(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — The half-brother of a convicted murderer who was fatally shot by authorities weeks after he escaped a maximum security prison in upstate New York said he felt relieved when he learned of his death.
Richard Matt was shot and killed by a Customs and Border Protection SWAT team Friday afternoon in Elephant’s Head, New York, about 50 miles from the prison he had escaped from. His half-brother, Wayne Schimpf, said he could only think of Matt as a man who had killed other people and had threatened him.
“I was in a way hoping this was the outcome,” he told ABC affiliate WKBW-TV in Buffalo. “Thank God this can finally end for me and my family. “The next thought was, ‘That’s my brother.'”
Matt was killed 20 days after he and fellow convicted murderer David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. He had been serving 25 years to life in prison for kidnapping and beating a man to death.
Schimpf recalled that the night of Rickerson’s death, Matt took his duct tape, knife and baseball bat. Later, before his trial, Matt planned to escape to Mexico and he threatened to kill his half-brother if he didn’t hand over his car, Schimpf said.
Schimpf testified against Matt at the trial, and said he was worried ever since that his half-brother would try to escape from prison.
“After my wife and I had testified, one of the last things I said to the detectives … ‘What if he escapes?'” he said. “‘They said ‘Oh, that’ll never happen.'”
But Schimpf said he never believed them.
“It’s my worst nightmare,” he said. “There hasn’t been a night that’s gone by in 20 years, even when he was in Mexico, that — when I put my head on the pillow — I wasn’t worried.”
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