Mother Pleads Guilty To Helping Son Flee

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The 68-year-old mother of prison escapee John McCluskey has pleaded guilty in Maricopa County Superior Court to hindering prosecution, a class 5 felony, said Attorney General Terry Goddard.

As part of a plea agreement, Claudia Washburn, 68, of Jakes Corner, 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 along with two other convicts.

After receiving the money and other supplies from Washburn in Jakes Corner, the group of escapees fled to New Mexico where investigators believe they kidnapped and murdered James and Linda Haas during an attempt to steal the couple’s RV.

Washburn faces a sentence of between six months to two-and-a-half years in prison. She has already spent approximately two months in jail before the change of plea.

On Oct. 20, Washburn was released on a $50,000 bond to the care of her daughter, Kate McCluskey. Washburn will remain in Thatcher with Kate pending sentencing.

Washburn was originally held on a $250,000 bond after police arrested her in early August on charges, including hindering prosecution, conspiracy to commit escape in the second degree and using electronic communication for drug transaction.

Commissioner Steve Lynch will sentence Washburn on Jan. 7.

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