Kingman private prison escapee appeals convictions

July 24, 2012

One of the inmates who escaped a private prison near Kingman is set to go before the state Court of Appeals. 

John McCluskey was serving 15 years for attempted murder. He and two other inmates broke out of prison in 2010 after his fiancée Casslyn Welch tossed wire cutters over the facility’s fence.

They were eventually caught at a campsite in eastern Arizona. McCluskey was convicted of escaping prison, kidnapping two truck drivers, as well as aggravated assault and other charges, but he wants those convictions overturned.

The appellate court will consider whether a Mohave County judge abused his power by refusing McCluskey’s motion to strike four jurors, which his attorneys say caused prejudice. The appeal also argues the lower court violated a rule against double punishment by imposing consecutive terms for weapons charges.

McCluskey still faces federal charges for the deaths of an Oklahoma couple killed in New Mexico.

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