(MALONE, N.Y.) — Escaped prisoner David Sweat told investigators he was almost discovered twice during the three weeks authorities were searching the woods of upstate New York for him and fellow inmate Richard Matt — including one time that police walked right by him as he hid in a hunting tree stand, officials said.
In the first close-call, Sweat told investigators both he and Matt were hiding near a cabin when three people came to check on it, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told ABC News Tuesday.
The people were discussing whether they should stay at the cabin or leave and Sweat said he and Matt were close enough to hear their conversation, Wylie said.
Sweat told the investigators he and Matt stayed hidden until the three people left, according to the DA.
The second instance happened within the past week, after Sweat and Matt separated, Sweat allegedly told investigators.
Sweat claimed he was hiding in a hunting tree stand when an officer walked past him, Wylie said.
Investigators were interviewing Sweat to better understand how the men escaped June 6 from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, and how they were able to avoid police for so long.
Sources briefed on the matter told ABC News Tuesday that interviews with Sweat have concluded for now.
According to Wylie, Sweat was advised of his Miranda rights. “He knows he has a right to an attorney, he knows he doesn’t have to talk to authorities,” he said. It was not clear if Sweat has a lawyer.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sweat split up from Matt days before their captures, because he felt like “Matt was slowing him down.”
Sweat is recovering at Albany Medical Center after he was apprehended, shot and wounded Sunday in the area of Constable, New York, about 1.5 miles south of the Canadian border.
His condition was listed as fair Tuesday. He is expected to remain at the hospital “for at least a few days” before he is moved to a maximum-security prison, sources said.
Matt, meanwhile, was shot and killed Friday in Elephant’s Head, New York, about 16 miles south of where Sweat was found, police said.
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