John McCluskey's accomplices sentenced for roles in double-murder case

Updated: 06/02/2014 6:54 PM | Created: 06/02/2014 11:13 AM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Two of the people convicted in a prison-break and double-murder in New Mexico faced a judge in federal court on Monday.

Casslyn Welch and Tracy Province were both sentenced to prison for their roles in the 2010 murder of Gary and Linda Haas, a couple visiting New Mexico from Oklahoma.

In October, prison escapee John McCluskey was convicted of kidnapping and murdering the couple. But prosecutors said he had two accomplices.

One was Casslyn Welch, his cousin and girlfriend. She has pleaded guilty to helping him bust out of an Arizona prison.

The other was Tracy Province, another escapee who was along for the ride.

The state argued Welch was the mastermind behind the prison escape and murder, but her attorney says she was abused and controlled by McCluskey the entire time.

In the courtroom Monday, Welch was in tears. She even apologized to the family of the victims. But they say they were not moved by her new show of remorse.

The family wanted the death penalty, saying Welch was equally guilty.

But the judge took into account the fact that Welch testified against McCluskey and sentenced Welch to prison instead.

The judge wanted to give her 40 years, but her attorney said 20 years was the deal for her testimony. The attorney was given two additional weeks to make that argument before the sentence is final.

Province was sentenced to life in prison.

The family says this has been a long time coming.

"I said I hope every time you close your eyes I hope you see Gary and Linda's face," Lynda Rook, Gary Haas' sister, said.

McCluskey will be sentenced on Tuesday morning.

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