CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – The man who police said drove the getaway car for three escaped convicts called home after the prison break and told family members he would rather die than go back to jail, family members said.

Shayne Laslie, 26, shot himself to death when police tracked him to a Salem motel. The three escaped convicts were captured the next day in Plymouth, Mass., and were returned to prison Friday night.

The inmates used her son and probably don’t care what happened to him, his mother, Chris Laslie, said in an interview with WMUR-TV in Manchester.

Shayne did time in the state prison with one of the escaped convicts, Christopher McNeil, his mother said.

The two kept in touch through letters and phone calls since Laslie got out of prison a year ago and moved in with his family in Concord, she said.

She said McNeil called Wednesday morning, about three hours before the break.

After the call, which Chris Laslie said was unusual, “Shayne came in and said, ‘I have to do a favor.’ “

The family thinks the favor was picking up the three at the prison.

The escaped convicts were McNeil, 35, of Willards, Md., who had violated parole on various charges, convicted murderer Kevin Gil, 31, of Boston; and Philip J. Dick, 23, of Hampton, N.H., convicted of attempted murder.

All three originally were from Massachusetts.

They escaped by cutting through two razor wire fences, possibly using bolt cutters checked out from a prison workshop, State Police Maj. Barry Hunter told the Concord Monitor.

Investigators think Laslie picked them up on a nearby road.

Within two hours of the escape, someone called Concord police and told them Laslie might be involved. His car was found at the motel that evening.

He refused to come out when police arrived. As officers forced their way into the room, he shot himself. He died the next day at a Massachusetts hospital.

Laslie’s brother Ted told the television station that Shayne called home from the hotel. He told them he would rather die than go back to prison.

“He said, ‘if anything goes down, just assume (I) shot myself,”‘ Ted Laslie said.

The three escapees were to appear in Concord District Court on Monday to face escape charges.

AP-ES-06-07-03 1250EDT

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