Escaped prisoner convicted in New Mexico of killing Oklahoma couple

Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:54 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A federal jury in New Mexico Monday convicted an escaped inmate in the carjacking slayings of an Oklahoma couple.

John Charles McCluskey faces the death penalty after being found guilty of 20 counts in the shooting deaths of Gary and Linda Haas, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The penalty phase of his trial could start next week, the newspaper said.

The jury began deliberating Thursday following a trial that started Aug. 19.

McCluskey was one of three inmates, all convicted killers, who escaped from a contract prison in Kingman, Ariz., in July 2010 with the help of his girlfriend, Casslyn Welch.

Welch and one of the other fugitives, Tracy Province, testified it was McCluskey who shot the Haases with no previous hint he intended to do so.

McCluskey, then 45, Province, 43, and the third inmate, Daniel Renwick, 36, broke out of the prison after Welch, 44, threw the tools and weapons into the prison yard, authorities said.

Renwick was captured in Colorado, Province in Wyoming, and McCluskey and Welch in Arizona over the next few weeks.

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