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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Death penalty remains option in NM murder of Tecumseh couple

  • The death penalty remains an option for punishment in the case of a former Arizona inmate accused of killing a couple in New Mexico.
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  • The death penalty remains an option for punishment in the case of a former Arizona inmate accused of killing a couple in New Mexico.
     
    John McCluskey is charged with carjacking and murder in the deaths of Gary and Linda Haas of Tecumseh, Okla. Their remains were found with their burned-out camping trailer on an eastern New Mexico ranch.
     
    A federal judge this month rejected McCluskey's arguments that the death penalty amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. A motion to exclude the testimony of informants and witnesses for the prosecution also was denied.
     
    McCluskey was one of three people who authorities say escaped from a medium-security prison near Kingman, Ariz., in July 2010 and went on a multi-state crime spree.
     
    He's appealing his conviction in Arizona on escape and other charges.
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