LANCASTER — A man prosecutors say helped a fellow inmate get revenge against a purported informant at the state prison in Berlin has pleaded guilty to attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Appearing last week in Coos County Superior Court, Donald H. Breton, 55, changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to no less than 20 years and no more than 40 years in prison by Judge Peter Bornstein.
Breton also pleaded guilty to falsifying evidence and being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon, for which he received suspended sentences, according to Coos County Attorney John McCormick.
The sentences handed down to Breton are identical to those Bornstein imposed in March upon Kevin Gil, 47, who, according to court documents, conspired with Breton to kill Darryl English, a fellow inmate at the Northern Correctional Facility in Berlin.
Gil was serving a sentence of 45 years to life for fatally stabbing Glenn Sousa, 39, in the neck during a 2000 robbery at a Salem motel. In 2003, Gil made national headlines when he and two other inmates escaped from the state prison in Concord.
Two years earlier, while incarcerated at the Rockingham County jail in Brentwood, Gil planned another escape that he didn’t execute. He would later come to believe that English told authorities about the plot, according to court documents.
Gil, Breton and English would eventually all be relocated to the medium security state prison in Berlin. Court records state that sometime between June 1, 2017 and Aug. 4, 2017, the day of the attack on English, Gil discovered that English had “provided information to authorities” regarding the escape attempt 16 years earlier.
Gil began sending death threats, but also invitations to talk to English through a third party, according to court records. Gil at one point even told English that he had determined it was someone else who had snitched about the escape plan, not English.
All the while, the records say, Breton and Gil were preparing to assault English with improvised weapons, a shank made from sharpened plastic and another made from a toothbrush handle with razor blades “fused into them.”
On Aug. 4, 2017, about 6 p.m., Gil lured English out for a walk in the recreation yard, where English was first set upon from behind by Breton and then by both men, who repeatedly stabbed, cut or struck English in the head, face, neck, torso, back and legs, according to documents.
English survived the attack by playing dead.