Trial for Escaped Inmate Scheduled for February

A judge in Mojave County has scheduled a trial date for one of the three Arizona prison inmates who escaped from the Kingman Prison earlier this year.

John McCluskey will go to trial in Arizona on February 15, for prison escape, kidnapping, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

McCluskey, one of his fellow prison escapees, and his fiancee/ cousin, also face murder charges in New Mexico for allegedly killing an Oklahoma couple while on the run. The family of the victims is suing the state, too.

Relatives of Gary and Linda Hass, both 61, of Tecumseh, Oklahoma, sent a notice of claims letter to Arizona authorities last week 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, 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 additional charges.

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