Prison Escapee John McCluskey's Arizona Trial Starts Tomorrow; Still Faces Murder Charges in New Mexico

John McCluskey, one of three inmates who escaped from an Arizona prison last summer  -- and then went on a multi-state tour of mayhem -- goes to trial tomorrow in Arizona for escaping from prison and assaulting two men when he hijacked their truck following his escape.

McCluskey still faces two murder charges in New Mexico for the deaths of an Oklahoma couple.

In Arizona, McCluskey faces one count of escape, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, and misconduct involving weapons.

After breaking out of prison -- with the help of his fiancee/cousin, Casslyn Welch -- McCluskey and another escapee, Tracy Province, allegedly hijacked a truck at gunpoint. McCluskey and Province opted to not kill the truck's two occupants, rather, they released them in Flagstaff.

The two escapees then met up with Welch, and traveled the country before they allegedly murdered Linda and Gary Haas -- both 61 -- in Eastern New Mexico.

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.

Following his arrest, McCluskey tried to kill himself in prison. Sadly, he failed, but it seems his fatal wish may still be granted, compliments of the federal government -- he faces the death penalty if convicted of murder in New Mexico.

McCluskey's trial in Arizona is expected to last a week.

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James King
Contact: James King