Oct 20, 2013 12:43 PM by Associated Press

Penalty phase of Ariz. inmate murder opens Monday

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The penalty phase opens Monday in an Albuquerque courtroom in the murder trial of John McCluskey, who faces a possible death sentence for the killings of a retired Oklahoma couple following a 2010 Arizona prison break.

Jurors who convicted McCluskey earlier this month after a four-month trial come back for what could be an even longer round of testimony on whether he should be executed or sentenced life in prison.

Much of the testimony is expected to focus on McCluskey's psychological state. Family members of the victims say they also will be called to push for the death sentence.

The 48-year-old McCluskey was convicted Oct. 7 of murder, carjacking and other charges in the August 2010 deaths of Gary and Linda Haas of Tecumseh, Okla.


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