Grand jury returns second superseding indictment with additional special findings against mcCluskey defendants
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, on January 12, 2011, a federal grand jury in Albuquerque returned a second superseding indictment in the case charging Arizona fugitives John Charles McCluskey, 45, and Tracy Allen Province, 42, and their accomplice Casslyn Mae Welch, 44, with the August 2, 2010 carjacking and murder of Gary and Linda Haas of Oklahoma and other crimes. The second superseding indictment modifies the “Notice of Special Findings,” which was added by the first superseding indictment, by supplementing McCluskey’s prior criminal history.
The original indictment against McCluskey, Province and Welch, filed on September 29, 2010, included seven counts that carry a maximum sentence of death or life in prison on conviction. The first superseding indictment, which was filed on December 29, 2011, modified the original indictment by adding the Notice of Special Findings under a statute provides for the imposition of the death penalty for a defendant who has been found guilty of a death-eligible offense after consideration of mitigating and aggravating factors identified in 18 U.S.C. § 3592.
The Notice of Special Findings preserves the United States’ ability to seek the death penalty. The decision whether or not to seek the death penalty will be made by the Attorney General of the United States based on the recommendation of the United States Attorney and after carefully considering each defendant’s background and the circumstances of the crime.
As previously reported, McCluskey, Province and Welch currently are in state custody in Arizona where they are scheduled for trial on state charges, including prison escape and aiding and abetting the escape, on February 15, 2011. Thereafter, the three defendants will be transferred to the District of New Mexico to face the federal charges in the superseding indictment.
The federal case was investigated by the New Mexico State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Linda Mott and Gregory J. Fouratt.
Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.