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Police find man believed to have helped escaped inmates

Associated Press
Thursday, June 5, 2003

Police tracked down a man at a motel they say helped three inmates escape from the New Hampshire State Prison, but when they tried to enter his room early today, he shot himself. The inmates were still missing.


The man, Shane Laslie of Concord, was listed in critical condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a hospital spokeswoman and the attorney general's office said.

The attorney general's office and state police earlier had issued a news release saying Laslie had taken his own life, dying from a gunshot wound.

Authorities found Laslie's car at the Park View Inn in Salem. When they tried to enter his room, he shot himself, they said.

Authorities were still searching for the three inmates, who cut their way out of the New Hampshire State Prison yesterday, but conceded the fugitives probably had made it out of state by dark.

Police - some with dogs - swarmed through nearby neighborhoods searching door-to-door as helicopters flew overhead. Late in the afternoon, state police Maj. Barry Hunter said there was ``a strong likelihood that they probably crossed state borders by now.''

State police Col. Gary Sloper said police are ``very confident'' the three had outside help. Hunter said the investigation is focusing on the escapees' visitors, friends and associates and out-of-state places where they have connections.

The three shed their green jumpsuits soon after the 10:10 a.m. escape from an industrial area of the prison.

Authorities wouldn't say where the jumpsuits were found, but a law enforcement source speaking on condition of anonymity said it was near Exit 2 of Interstate 89, about 3.5 miles southwest of the prison. Officials would not comment on the report.

The highway, which branches off from Interstate 93 a few miles to the south, runs northwest into Vermont.

Sloper gave few details of the escape or search at an afternoon news conference.

``Right now my concerns are, where are they, and how do we get them back,'' he said.

Corrections officers on routine rounds found the holes in the fences no more than 15 to 20 minutes after the escape, Sloper said.

Corrections Department spokesman Jeff Lyons said the fences were not wired with an alarm. He said the holes were ``right at the bottom'' of the fences, just large enough for someone to crawl through.

Homes and businesses dot the busy street that runs by the prison. Behind it are many acres of woods with old granite quarries atop a steep, granite ridge called Rattlesnake Hill.

Small residential streets run into the woods, but Sloper said there were no indications of break-ins or stolen cars. He declined to say how the three might have gotten tools to cut the fences, but said he believed the three were at their prison woodworking jobs when they escaped.

The correctional officers' union charged that budget cuts at the Department of Corrections set the stage for the escape.

``Short-staffing definitely contributed to what happened today,'' Sgt. Gary Smith said. He noted that the latest version of the proposed state budget would eliminate 66 positions, including 37 guards.

``That's his opinion,'' Lyons responded. ``We feel that we are staffed appropriately for a prison of our size.''

He said the nearest guard tower was not manned when the men escaped, but he said an armed corrections officer was patrolling the perimeter.

In addition, two other staff members were in the area.

Lyons said it was the first escape from the medium-security area of the prison in at least 10 years.

Lyons identified the escapees as convicted murderer Kevin Gil, 31, of Boston; Philip J. Dick, 23, convicted of attempted murder; and Christopher McNeil, 35, of Willards, Md.

A man who lives across the street from the prison said he plans to walk his property for the next few days.

``I've got three kids that come here on the weekends,'' said the man, who asked not to be identified. ``I'm going to be keeping my eyes open.''

Dan Albert, who owns a used-car lot across the street, was less concerned.

``I'm not too worried about them, but I'd definitely be worried if I had a house here,'' he said.

The prison was locked down after the escape.

Lyons said inmates have walked away from minimum security halfway houses. He said one inmate attempted to climb over the wire fence in the mid 1990s, but was cut up badly and caught.

Two women escaped from the state prison in Laconia around Christmas 1999, but were caught.

Sloper said all three men have extensive criminal records.

Lyons said Gil was sentenced in 2001 to 45 years to life after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing Glen Sousa of Lowell, in a Salem motel room on Aug. 18, 2000. Prosecutors said Gil was trying to rob Sousa.

Dick was serving 15 to 30 years for the attempted murder of police officers during a 1999 shootout in Raymond following a domestic dispute, Lyons said. Dick's last address was in Hampton.

Based on an erroneous notation on a record, Lyons originally said Dick had been convicted of homicide.

Lyons said McNeil was in prison for parole violations on convictions on drug, forgery and stolen-property charges. State police said he was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 1994.



Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Kind of old.
But they caught them ! ! !


Three Escaped Inmates Caught in Mass.
By MIKE RECHT
Associated Press Writer


A convicted killer and two other inmates who escaped from prison by
cutting through two
fences were captured Thursday, a day after the breakout, at a
Massachusetts campground 100
miles away.


Authorities said the men were unarmed and offered no resistance.


Police surrounded the campground in Plymouth, saw one of the escaped
convicts leaving and
arrested him without the knowledge of the two others, Massachusetts
state police Sgt. Ed
Principe said. Police used a bullhorn to address the others about 30
minutes later.


Police "advised them they were completely surrounded and to come out
with their hands up,"
Principe said. "They complied and were arrested without incident."


The three broke out on Wednesday from the New Hampshire State Prison
in Concord. A jogger
found their green prison jumpsuits near an exit off Interstate 89,
about 3 1/2 miles from
the prison, State Police Maj. Barry Hunter said.


Investigators said the inmates apparently had outside help getting
street clothes and
transportation.


"It was part of a well thought-out plan," state Attorney General Peter
Heed said.


Earlier Thursday, a man believed to have helped them shot himself in
the head when police
traced him to a Salem motel. The man, Shayne Laslie of Concord, was
pronounced dead hours
later at a Boston hospital. Police were never able to question him.


It was not immediately clear how Laslie, 26, came under suspicion. He
was paroled from the
prison in 2002 on a cocaine possession conviction.


Hunter said notes were exchanged between Laslie and some of the
escapees, and Laslie's
capture "gave us some insight" into the trio's plan. He would not
elaborate and said he
didn't know why Laslie allegedly helped the three.


At the campground, the inmates were staying at two adjacent tent sites
that had been
reserved by two other men, said owner Jane Doonan, who was asked by
police not to reveal
their identities. The two men had been staying there, but their
current whereabouts were
unknown.


A spokeswoman for the Plymouth district attorney's office could not
immediately say whether
any other arrests had been made.


The three inmates were identified as Kevin Gil, Philip J. Dick, and
Christopher McNeil.


Gil, 31, was sentenced in 2001 to 45 years to life after pleading
guilty to stabbing a man
to death in a motel room in 2000. Dick, 23, was serving 15 to 30 years
for attempted murder
of police officers during a 1999 shootout. McNeil, 35, was imprisoned
for parole violations
on drug convictions and other crimes. He was sentenced to 35 years in
prison in 1994.


Officials said the escape was the first in at least a decade from the
medium-security
section of the prison, which is on a busy street north of downtown.
Lyons said another
inmate tried to climb over one of the razor-wire fences in the early
1990s but was cut badly
and caugh
 

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I am interested to see what they used to cut the fence. If they had an actual tool, not something "homemade" someone is probably going to get their ass burnt!
 
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