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3 Cut Fences, Escape From N.H. Prison

June 05, 2003|From Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — Three inmates, including one who pleaded guilty to a fatal stabbing, escaped from a state prison on a busy street Wednesday by cutting through two fences.

Officials said the men shed their green jumpsuits soon after escaping, but they would not say where the jumpsuits were found.

The prison was locked down and police -- some with dogs -- went door to door through nearby neighborhoods. State police and National Guard helicopters joined the search.

State police Col. Gary Sloper said officials strongly believe the inmates had outside help, but he declined to elaborate.

"Right now, my concerns are where are they, and how do we get them back," Sloper said.

Officials said it was the first escape in at least a decade from the medium-security area of the prison.

Corrections officers on routine rounds found the holes in the fences no more than 20 minutes after the morning escape, Sloper said. He declined to say how the three might have gotten tools to cut the fences, but the officer said he believed the inmates were at their prison woodworking jobs when they escaped.

The 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 the attempted murder of police officers during a 1999 shootout.

McNeil, 35, was imprisoned for parole violations on drug convictions and other crimes. State police said he was sentenced in 1994 to 35 years in prison.

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