News

Two Arizona Prison Escapees -- and Fiancee/ Cousin Who Helped Them Escape -- Charged With Murder in New Mexico

It seemed only a matter of time before authorities in New Mexico charged two Arizona prison escapees, and the woman who helped them escape, with the murder of an Oklahoma couple who were found murdered in a camper in earlier this month. Today, it happened.

Federal prosecutors in New Mexico have officially filed murder and carjacking charges against Tracy Province, Casslyn Welch, and Welch's would-be cous-band, John McCluskey.


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 and from Tecumseh, Oklahoma.

The Hasses, 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 Hass' truck, and torched the trailer with the bodies of the inside.

While being arrested last week, McCluskey didn't do much to help his murder defense.

It's been reported that while being 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."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King