New Mexico Judge Signs Extradition Order for Arizona Prison Escapees

A federal magistrate in Albuquerque has agreed to a request from prosecutors there to extradite two Arizona prison inmates and a fiancee of one of them from Arizona to face murder charges in New Mexico.

The inmates, John McCluskey and Tracy Province, and Casslyn Welch -- McCluskey's fiancee/cousin -- are believed to have murdered an Oklahoma couple on August 2, in eastern New Mexico.

Welch is believed to have helped the two inmates -- as well as another inmate -- escape from an Arizona prison less than a week before the victims' bodies were discovered. The three were all on the run when authorities say they murdered the victims, Linda and Gary Haas, both 61 and from Tecumseh, Oklahoma.

The victims, 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 were shot in their travel trailer before the inmates and Welch drove it to a remote area, unhitched the Hass' truck, and torched the trailer with the bodies inside.

At the moment, the three murder suspects remain in custody in Arizona, where they face charges of prison escape, kidnapping, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

McCluskey has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday to determine where he'll stand trial first, Arizona or New Mexico.

The first hearing for the three in New Mexico is scheduled for November 17.

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James King
Contact: James King