Prison guard charged with helping notorious serial killer escape his cell

New Mexico

A prison guard has been charged with helping a serial killer try to escape. 

The prison guard involved in one of New Mexico’s most dangerous prison riots has been charged in the case. The Clayton Police Department believes Matthew Shriner helped one of the state’s most notorious serial killers escape from his cell that night. 

The riot happened more than a year ago. News 13’s Larry Barker first exposed the incident this summer, and now detectives have wrapped up their investigation. 

Related Coverage: Violent prison riot kept secret: shocking surveillance video

Last year, the privately run northeast New Mexico prison was home to one of the state’s most notorious serial killers, Clifton Bloomfield. 

The 49-year-old was sentenced to nearly 200 years behind bars after he murdered five people in Albuquerque ten years ago. 

Bloomfield was being housed in a cell block that’s reserved for violent inmates who pose security threats. In July, a Larry Barker investigation showed never before seen video the night Bloomfield got out of his cell, and a riot broke out. 

At the time, the state’s Corrections Secretary aired his frustrations. 

“I was extremely outraged that these breaches occurred under our watch,” Secretary David Jablonski said. 

Video from that night in September 2017, shows corrections officer Matthew Shriner stop in front of Bloomfield’s cell door. 

Seconds later he unlocks the door, and chaos follows. Bloomfield jumps Shriner, steals his keys, and proceeds to unlock cell doors, letting other inmates out. 

It took the prison riot’s response team an hour to re-gain control. 

“The decision that officer made that evening really jeopardized the security of that whole facility and it could have been a lot worse,” Jablonski said. 

Shriner later told investigators he didn’t remember letting Bloomfield out of his cell. 

KRQE News 13 has learned, police disagree, and two weeks ago Shriner was charged in the case for helping Bloomfield escape from his cell that night. 

The criminal complaint doesn’t offer many details as to why investigators believe that, but now Shriner is facing felony charges. 

Matt Shriner resigned after the incident. He’s now suing the Corrections Department and the private company that runs the prison. 

In the lawsuit, Shriner claims “Bloomfield tricked him” into opening his cell door and that he didn’t have the proper training to be in that high-risk unit. 

Bloomfield is also facing several charges for his role in the riot. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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