Jury selection begins in kidnapping, murder trial

QCS Staff

Jury selection has begun in the final trial of a defendant in the August 2010 kidnapping and murder of an Oklahoma couple who had stopped at a Quay County rest stop on Interstate 40 in Quay County. The trial is being held in Albuquerque U.S. District Court under Judge U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera.

John McCluskey, an escapee from an Arizona prison, is the last of three suspects who have faced kidnapping and murder charges in the Aug. 4,2010, killings of Linda and Gary Haas of Tecumseh, Okla.

Two other suspects, Casslyn Mae Welch and Tracy Allen Province, entered guilty pleas in January 2012 in connection with the incident.

Welch pleaded guilty in state court in Arizona to helping Province and McCluskey break out of an Arizona prison, after which they hijacked two trucks and then hijacked the crew cab pickup of Linda and Gary Haas of Tecumseh, Okla., while the couple was stopped at the Quay County rest stop on I-40.

The couple was taken from the rest stop to a remote ranch location, police said, where they were shot to death and their bodies burned in their vehicle.

Prosecutors in McCluskey’s case are seeking the death penalty, according to the Associated Press.

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