The convicted murderer who made headlines for his big escape from an upstate New York prison with a fellow inmate was also, apparently, a noted prison artist, paintings obtained by NBC News show.
Richard Matt was shot dead last week after he and fellow killer David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora and eluded authorities for three weeks. Matt was serving 25 years for the kidnapping and hacksaw dismemberment of his former boss.
According to court documents, Matt gave some of his artworks to prison guard Gene Palmer in return for tools. Palmer was arrested, allegedly telling investigators he gave the convicts art supplies and access to a catwalk electrical box in exchange for paintings by Matt.
Palmer insists that he had no idea about the killer's escape plan.
Palmer allegedly destroyed the paintings -- burning some of them in a fire pit at his home and burying others in woods nearby -- after Matt and Sweat escaped.
NBC News Investigations has obtained images of some of the paintings Palmer is accused of trying to bury.
Palmer has pleaded not guilty to charges of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and one count of official misconduct.
Sweat was wounded and captured Sunday near the Canadian border after three weeks on the run. His condition was upgraded Tuesday from serious to fair at the Albany hospital where he was taken after being shot twice by a state trooper.