John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch arrived for their initial appearance at Apache County Superior Court on Aug. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Updated: Thursday, 28 Oct 2010, 12:59 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 28 Oct 2010, 12:39 PM MDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Relatives of an Oklahoma couple who were killed in New Mexico — allegedly by two escapees from the Arizona State Prison and an accomplice — are asking for $40 million in damages.
Relatives of Gary and Linda Haas of Tecumseh mailed notice of claim letters Wednesday to Arizona authorities. The notices are required before a lawsuit can be filed. Arizona officials have 60 days to respond.
Escapees Tracy Province and John McCluskey and McCluskey's fiancee and cousin, Casslyn Welch, are charged with capital murder and carjacking in the Haas' Aug. 2 deaths. Authorities have said Welch helped McCluskey, Province and inmate Daniel Renwick escape on July 30.
The letters blame the escapes on "slipshod security" at the prison and "a long series of egregious errors."
Renwick is not implicated in the Haas' deaths.