Would-Be Cousband and Wife John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch Want Case Remanded to Grand Jury
One of the three inmates who escaped from the Kingman prison earlier this year, and his fiancee/cousin, want their cases remanded back to the grand jury.
Oral arguments are scheduled for today to determine whether grand jurors were properly instructed on their authority and if they were presented with prejudicial evidence. Lawyers for the couple also claim that one of the grand jurors might not have been qualified to serve.
The two are charged with escape, kidnapping, armed robbery, and aggravated assault for their roles in the highly publicized Kingman prison escape in July.
Welch and McCluskey also face murder charges in New Mexico for the murders of an Oklahoma couple.
Federal prosecutors in New Mexico filed murder and carjacking charges against McCluskey, Welch, and Tracy Province -- one of the other escapees.
Welch is believed to have helped McCluskey and Province, as well as another inmate, escape from the Kingman prison on July 31. While on the run, police say the three murdered Linda and Gary Haas, both 61, from Tecumseh, Oklahoma.
The couple, who were about to become grandparents, were on their annual summer trip to Colorado when their paths crossed with the escaped inmates.
Authorities believe the couple met the inmates at a rest area along Interstate 40 in eastern New Mexico.
It's believed the couple was shot in their travel trailer before the inmates, and Welch, drove it to a remote area, unhitched the couple's truck, and torched the trailer with the bodies inside.
While getting arrested, McCluskey didn't do much to help his murder defense.
It's been reported that as he was taken into custody, one of the arresting officers told another officer to be careful with the gun found on Welch -- who was arrested with McCluskey at a campsite in northern Arizona -- because it was potentially the weapon used in the murder of the Hasses. McCluskey, reports claim, told the officers "no, the murder weapon is over there in the tent."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.