Jury deliberating death penalty for McCluskey

Created: 12/05/2013 1:09 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - A federal jury in Albuquerque is considering the death penalty for an Arizona inmate who kidnapped and murdered a retired Oklahoma couple following a 2010 prison break.

Attorneys Wednesday closed their cases in the  four-month trial of John McCluskey. Thursday, the jury began discussing whether he should be executed or sentenced to life in prison without parole.

McCluskey  was convicted in October of capital murder in the slayings of Gary and Linda Haas of Tecumseh, Okla.

Much of the sentencing phase focused on whether he was capable of controlling his impulses and making reasoned decisions when he kidnapped and killed the couple. The defense argues he has a low IQ and has suffered a hard life of abuse, brain damage and addiction.

Prosecutors say he is a remorseless, cold-blooded killer.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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