Capital murder trial to begin for Arizona fugitive

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The capital murder trial of an Arizona fugitive accused in the grisly slayings of an Oklahoma couple traveling through New Mexico is set to begin in Albuquerque.

Opening statements are set for Monday in the trial of John McCluskey. He's facing 20 counts in connection with the slayings of Gary and Linda Haas, of Tecumseh, Okla.

McCluskey had escaped from an Arizona prison when prosecutors say the 61-year-old retirees were targeted for their truck and travel trailer at a rest area near the Texas-New Mexico border.

Court documents say the Haases were forced at gunpoint to drive to a desolate spot off of Interstate 40, where they were then ordered into their trailer and shot. Their bodies were burned along with the trailer.

McCluskey's trial is expected to last up to four months.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.