Closing arguments disrupted in McCluskey murder trial
Posted at: 10/01/2013 11:07 AM
| Updated at: 10/01/2013 1:29 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4
John McCluskey is charged with murder in the deaths of Gary and Linda Haas.
ALBUQUERQUE -- The defense will have to wait a day to deliver closing arguments in the murder trial of an Arizona prison escapee after a power outage left the federal courthouse in the dark on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the U.S. Marshals Office, federal court is closed for the rest of the day while crews work to repair an outage that hit around 11:30 a.m.
The outage occurred after prosecutors wrapped up their closing arguments.
John McCluskey is charged with murder in the 2010 shooting deaths of Gary and Linda Haas. Police found the couple's remains near Santa Rosa in their burned-out travel trailer.
Prosecutors told the jury McCluskey was prepared to kill in order to get out of prison. They said he planned his escape for a while and had his cousin-turned-girlfriend, Cassalyn Welch, help by bringing him pliers and guns.
Prosecutors then recalled the day McCluskey carjacked the Haases at gunpoint and forced them to drive down the interstate. Prosecutors said McCluskey told the couple he was not going to hurt them, but ended up shooting them to death.
Welch testified that her and another inmate who escaped with McCluskey heard the gun shots. When McCluskey emerged from the back of the trailer, prosecutors said he told them to help move the bodies. He allegedly told Welch he couldn't leave behind witnesses.
The defense will begin closing arguments on Wednesday.
If convicted of federal charges, McCluskey faces life in prison or the death penalty.