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Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Oklahoma couple

NEW MEXICO – A man who killed an Oklahoma couple has been sentenced to life in prison.

According to KOB, John McCluskey was sentenced to life in prison followed by a consecutive term of 235 years for the murder of Gary and Linda Haas, an Oklahoma couple visiting New Mexico.

Two of McCluskey’s accomplices, Casslyn Welch and Tracy Province will also receive prison time.

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Province was sentenced to five consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of release and Welch was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

“With the help of his conspirators, John Charles McCluskey mercilessly killed two innocent victims and burned their bodies as he fled law enforcement after escaping from prison,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Our thoughts are with those whose lives were changed forever by these heinous crimes.”

“Today’s sentencing hearing brings to a close a case that focused on an exceptionally violent episode in the summer of 2010, during which John Charles McCluskey and Tracy Allen Province escaped from prison with help from Casslyn Mae Welch, committed multiple kidnappings during their interstate flight from justice, and mercilessly killed two innocent victims to eliminate them as witnesses,” said U.S. Attorney Martinez.  “While the sentences imposed on McCluskey and his co-conspirators cannot restore the loss of Gary and Linda Haas, I hope that they bring some measure of comfort and closure to their families and friends and I commend the prosecutors and investigators who worked tirelessly to seek justice for Gary and Linda Haas.”