Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich



Payson Woman Who Aided Son After Prison Escape Enters Guilty Plea

(Phoenix, Ariz. -- Nov. 24, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard announced today that Claudia Washburn, 68, of Payson, the mother of prison escapee John McCluskey, has pleaded guilty in Maricopa County Superior Court to hindering prosecution, a Class 5 felony.

As part of a plea agreement, Washburn admitted to providing money to McCluskey through a third party. She admitted she knew McCluskey had escaped from prison, and that the money would be used to help him flee from law enforcement. After receiving the money and other supplies from Washburn, the group of escapees fled to New Mexico where investigators believe they kidnapped and murdered James and Linda Haas during an attempt to steal their RV.

Washburn faces a sentence of between six months to two-and-a-half years in prison. She spent approximately two months in jail prior to the change of plea and was recently released to the care of her daughter, where she will remain pending sentencing. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 7 before Commissioner Steve Lynch.

A photo of Washburn is attached. For more information, contact Janey Pearl at (602) 542-8019.