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Fri, March 22

State: Kingman prison escapee pleads to charges

KINGMAN - One of three men accused of escaping from the Arizona State Prison last summer has pleaded guilty to Arizona charges, paving the way for his transfer to New Mexico, where he faces federal murder charges.

The Kingman Daily Miner reported Sunday that Tracy Allen Province pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the July 30 escape.

His lawyer, Ron Gilleo, said Province had wanted to take responsibility for his actions since he was recaptured last August.

However, Gilleo said he waited until rulings on motions by another escapee, John McCluskey, and their alleged accomplice, Casslyn Welch, so as not to affect their cases.

A sentencing hearing for Province is slated Jan. 28.

In the meantime he will be held at the Mohave County Jail.

Gilleo said during Friday's hearing Province was aware that pleading guilty in Arizona could affect the case in New Mexico, where he could face the death penalty if convicted in the shooting deaths of an Oklahoma couple.

Province faced eight charges in Arizona, including escape as well as kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated assault in the abduction of two truck drivers off Interstate 40 the night of the escape. The truck drivers were released unharmed.

Province was arrested in Wyoming after splitting from McCluskey and Welch, who were arrested later in Arizona.

A federal grand jury in New Mexico has indicted Province, McCluskey and Welch in the Aug. 2 killings of Gary and Linda Haas, both 61, of Tecumseh, Okla. Their bodies were found with their burned-out recreational trailer near Santa Rosa in eastern New Mexico.

Federal prosecutors in last month began steps seek the death penalty against the trio, who face charges of capital murder, carjacking, conspiracy to commit carjacking, carjacking resulting in death, tampering with a witness, conspiracy and other crimes.

The third escapee, Daniel Renwick, split from the group after the escape and was captured Aug. 1 in Colorado.


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