NC prison worker accused of helping inmate escape

A kitchen worker at a North Carolina prison was charged Sunday with helping a convicted murderer escape as the search for the inmate continued.

Kendra Lynette Miller, 33, faces multiple charges connected to Saturday's escape by Kristopher McNeil, the state Department of Public Safety said in a statement. McNeil, 29, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was serving a sentence for second-degree murder.

Kristopher McNeil

image courtesy NC Department of Public Safety

Prison officials say McNeil is believed to have scaled the fence at the minimum-security unit of Brown Creek Correctional Institution, about 45 miles east of Charlotte. He was convicted in 2009 and was scheduled for release in 2018.

Polkton police charged Miller with harboring a fugitive and aiding and abetting a fugitive. She's also charged with having sex with an inmate and providing a cellphone. An Anson County Jail official said she did not have a lawyer. Her bond was set at $500,000, prison officials said.

Miller and McNeil are believed to have worked in the prison kitchen together, state prisons spokeswoman Pamela Walker said. Miller began working at the prison in December.

McNeil agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after initially being charged with first-degree murder, the Winston-Salem Journal reported in 2009. He killed Lancelot "Bobby" Muir, 44, who was found shot to death along a creek near his girlfriend's home. Muir was awaiting trial on cocaine trafficking charges at the time of his death.

Details of the escape came as law officers shot and captured the second of two convicted murderers who broke out of a maximum-security prison in northern New York three weeks ago.

Prosecutors said Joyce Mitchell, a prison tailoring shop instructor at the Clinton Correctional Facility who got close to the men while working with them, was charged with promoting prison contraband, which authorities said included hacksaw blades and chisels. She agreed to be their getaway driver after their escape, but backed out. Mitchell has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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