The Norman Transcript

October 8, 2013

Jury convicts inmate of killing couple

By Jeri Clausing
The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The leader of a self-styled Bonnie and Clyde couple who staged a brazen prison escape and a three-week crime spree was convicted Monday of capital murder in the gruesome slayings of a retired Oklahoma couple who crossed their path on an eastern New Mexico highway.

John McCluskey was found guilty of murder, carjacking and other charges in the August 2010 deaths of Gary and Linda Haas of Tecumseh.

The same jurors will return to decide whether McCluskey, 48, should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Haas family members showed little emotion when the verdict was read.

Linda Rook, the younger sister of Gary Haas, called McCluskey’s conviction on 20 counts good news.

Asked if she was relieved, Gary Haas’ mother, Vivian Haas, said, “not enough.”

“I think she is still hopeful for the final decision,” Rook said of her mother’s guarded reaction. The family, she said, is waiting on the penalty phase, when it will testify in support of a death sentence.