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Exclusive: Escaped inmate's attorney talks about his client

Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-24 20:54:16-04

For the first time, we're hearing from the man who defended Richard Matt, the inmate who escaped from Clinton County Correctional in Dannemora more than two weeks ago.

Christopher Privateer told WKBW in Buffalo he represented Matt during his murder trial back in 2008. Privateer says he hasn't spoken to Matt since his sentencing day some seven years ago.

"He was intelligent and interested in assisting us during his trial," said Privateer.

Privateer was on vacation when he got the call that Matt had escaped from prison.

"My phone started to ring,and the police told me that he escaped."

Although Privateer only met face-to-face with Matt during his murder trial, he described Matt as a polite individual who was very smart and willing to help.

"He always assisted on helping us during his case. He understood the challenges we had ahead," Privateer told 7 Eyewitness News.

After a lengthy trial, lasting several weeks, Matt was convicted of killing and dismembering his former boss in Niagara County before fleeing to Mexico, where he killed a man outside a bar.

He has been on the run for more than two weeks now.