ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Prison escapee John McCluskey cannot be rehabilitated and should be put to death for killing a vacationing couple in New Mexico, according to federal prosecutors.
On Thursday the U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque filed the official notice that they intend to seek a death sentence for McCluskey. That came two days after an updated indictment added seven more charges to the murder case against McCluskey.
While New Mexico has repealed its capital-punishment law, federal law still allows executions under some circumstances.
McCluskey, who along with two other inmates escaped from an Arizona prison in July 2010, is accused to killing Linda and Gary Haas a few days later near Santa Rosa in order to steal their truck. Their bodies were found in the burned shell of their travel trailer.
Prosecutors argued that McCluskey cannot be rehabilitated. As evidence of that they cited not just the murders but what he said after his arrest plus what he's been up to while in prison.
McCluskey allegedly pulled the trigger and ordered the bodies burned after he, escapee Tracey Province and their accomplice, Casslyn Welch, abducted the Haases at an Interstate 40 rest stop near Santa Rosa.
By then a third inmate in the escape had taken off on his own and was later captured after a shootout with police in Colorado.
McCluskey is described as the mastermind behind the breakout from the private prison near Kingman, Ariz.
But his life of crime started far before that.
In 1992 he carried out a violent robbery in Pennsylvania.
In 2009 he was convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault in Maricopa County, Arizona.
After the prison break he kidnapped and robbed two truckers and talked of killing them.
Then he allegedly carried out an armed robbery at a hair salon in Arkansas.
And since he's been in prison, prosecutors say his violence hasn't stopped.
Just weeks after his arrest they caught him with a razor blade, and then months later a club-like weapon.
This past June they found another razor on him, and just a few days ago they found a shank on him.
And it's not just his actions but his words that show his violent side.
After his arrest at a campsite in near Springerville, Ariz., in August 2010, McCluskey told police he would have shot the arresting officers if he would have had his gun. And that he should have killed a park employee who happened to drop by and later reported McCluskey's presence.
He's also said he has a desire to inflict seriously bodily injury on others.
Prosecutors said McCluskey has a callous disregard for human life and they feel the death penalty is justified if McCluskey is convicted.
And prosecutors will have 14 different chances to get death imposed.
That's because 14 of the 20 charges McCluskey are considered capital offenses.
Prosecutors say McCluskey was also caught calling a witness in his case while in prison.
A trial date for McCluskey has not been set.
Last week Province and Welch both pleaded guilty to the deaths of Gary and Linda Haas last week.
Province faces a mandatory life sentence; Welch faces a maximum of life. Both are expected to testify as witnesses against McCluskey.
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