McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

October 31, 2013

Witness: Convicted killer liked to read New Yorker

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A neurologist testified Thursday that convicted killer John McCluskey used to read The New Yorker and likes to watch the news. He knows how to budget the money he gets each month in prison. His memory is good, and he knows how to follow instructions.

Johns Hopkins neurologist Barry Gordon took the witness stand in the penalty phase of the murder case, saying he examined McCluskey two weeks ago for prosecutors, looking for things that could spark his violent tendencies.

McCluskey was convicted on Oct. 7 of capital murder in the August 2010 carjack killings of Linda and Gary Haas following his escape from an Arizona prison.

Defense attorneys have been trying to spare McCluskey from the death penalty. arguing that he is incapable of controlling his impulses or making reasoned decisions due to brain abnormalities, emotional and physical abuse and a long history of drug and alcohol abuse.

Prosecutors called Gordon to rebut such testimony from defense witnesses.

Jurors will first weigh whether McCluskey is eligible for the death penalty or a life sentence. They are expected to begin those deliberations after closing arguments Thursday.

McCluskey was serving 15 years for attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm when he and two other prisoners escaped from a medium-security prison near Kingman, Ariz., in July 2010 with the help of his cousin and fiancee, Casslyn Welch.

One inmate was quickly captured after a shootout with authorities in Colorado, while McCluskey, Welch and inmate Tracy Province headed to New Mexico.

Testimony showed the trio targeted the Haases at a rest stop near the New Mexico-Texas state line.

Province and Welch pleaded guilty last year to charges of carjacking resulting in death, conspiracy, the use of a firearm during a violent crime and other charges. They both said McCluskey was the triggerman.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State House
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.