Arizona Prison Escapees Caught

By Jason Beahm on August 23, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"Alright, listen up, people. Our fugitive has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles-per-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive's name is Dr. Richard Kimble. Go get him." -Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard in The Fugitive

John McClusky and Casslyn Welch were Arizona prison escapees, fugitives from the law, after their brazen prison escape. The media dubbed them "Bonnie and Clyde." Casslyn Welch is McCluskey's lover and cousin. Welch allegedly helped McClusky and two other inmates escape from the prision using wire cutters which she threw over the fence. The two other escapees were captured earlier this month. In the end, Welch and McClusky went down in non dramatic fashion after being surrounded by police.

John McCluskey and Welch were caught after a forest ranger spotted what he believed to be an unattended fire at a campsite in Springerville, Arizona. When he investigated, he saw a car backed into some trees and checked out the plate number. Time reports that the plate matched the license plate of the car allegedly stolen near where a couple was murdered, for which McCluskey and Welch are suspected. A SWAT team was used for their capture. The escape caused major fallout at the prison, with the warden and a security offical resigning in the wake of the incident. The prison had a defective alarm, an unstaffed perimeter post and a door that was allowed to be left propped open.

McClusky and Welch are now facing the prospect of a murder trial as well as escape charges. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill abolishing the death penalty in 2009.

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