Relatives of Couple Allegedly Murdered by Arizona Prison Escapees Want $40 Million in Damages

The family of the Oklahoma couple allegedly murdered by two escaped Arizona prison inmates and the fiancee/cousin of one of the inmates, is asking for $40 million in damages from the state of Arizona.

Relatives of Gary and Linda Hass, both 61, of Tecumseh, Oklahoma, sent a notice of claims letter to Arizona authorities yesterday expressing their intention to file a lawsuit against the state.

The letter cites"slipshod security" at the prison and "a long series of egregious errors" that allowed three inmates, John McCluskey, Tracy Province, and Daniel Renwick, to escape.

Authorities believe McCluskey's cousin/fiancee, Casslyn Welch, helped the inmates escape.

While on the run, authorities believe McCluskey, Province, and Welch murdered the couple on August 2, in eastern New Mexico less than a week after the inmates escaped.

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.

The three have all been charged with murder and are currently in custody in Arizona, where they face charges of prison escape, kidnapping, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

They're expected to be extradited to New Mexico soon.

The state has 60 days to respond to the notice of claims. 

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James King
Contact: James King