LB - House 928 Media Lab 0426

Home | Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Obituaries | Subscriber Services | Kingman Digital | Contact Us
Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : latest news : state April 29, 2016

10/31/2013 12:37:00 PM
'He has the capacity to control himself'
Prosecution seeks to rebut 'defective brain' theory for Kingman escapee
John McCluskey
John McCluskey

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A neurologist testified Thursday that convicted killer John McCluskey used to read The New Yorker and likes to watch the news. Using pencil and paper, 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 capital murder case, saying he examined McCluskey two weeks ago for prosecutors.

He told jurors he looked for anything that might affect the convict's behavior and his ability to make reasoned decisions, taking into account a list of health issues and brain scans.

"I don't see an effect on behavior from any of those things," Gordon said. "He has the capacity to control himself."

McCluskey, 48, was convicted on Oct. 7 in the August 2010 carjack killings of Linda and Gary Haas of Oklahoma following his escape from Arizona State Prison-Kingman.

Defense attorneys have been trying to spare McCluskey from the death penalty, arguing that he's incapable of controlling his impulses or making 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 several defense witnesses.

The witness said there was evidence of a small stroke in the part of McCluskey's brain best known for controlling coordination, but the effects were unnoticeable and he found nothing else unusual for a man of McCluskey's age.

Jurors will first weigh whether McCluskey is eligible for the death penalty or a life sentence. They will begin those deliberations after testimony and closing arguments end.

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 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.

ICT - Trotters RV
Related Stories:
• Jury: Kingman prison escapee eligible for death penalty
• Defense: Prison escapee has defective brain

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   20-year sentence possible for murder in Yucca (2026 views)

•   ATV rider the focus of a complicated rescue effort (1579 views)

•   McCain fundraiser arrested following drug raid (1231 views)

•   Missing Kingman woman connected to man arrested for identity theft (1042 views)

•   Arsenic is not the threat we've been told it is (Guest Opinion) (615 views)

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Dont let this guy slide

He can fiddle and fidget all he wants. We know that he knows what he's doing. Because we know that he knows. We arent going to let him slip thru the cracks as he planned.

Thats right bucko...squirm and wiggle in that hot seat knowing full well WE got your number. Every eye you look into will tell you...We know. Its ok you can admit you know we know about you knowing about us knowing about you.

Take your medicine you know you deserve it. We do.

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: Desert Rat

My wife says I have a defective brain. In fact, she thinks I'm a certified nut case.

But I've never wanted to kill anyone.

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Kingman Chamber News
House Ad- Dining Guide
Auto Racing Upickem
Find more about Weather in Kingman, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Find it Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Local Listings
Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Find Kingman Jobs | Kingman Chamber | e-News | Contact Us | RSS | Site Map
LB - Auto Racing Upickem

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Kingman Daily Miner is the information source for Kingman and surrounding area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Kingman Daily Miner Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to email your questions, comments or suggestions. Kingman Daily Miner Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved