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8/8/2010 6:01:00 AM
117 killers housed in Golden Valley
Province, who is still on the loose, stabbed a man 51 times
JC AMBERLYN/Miner -- The Arizona State Prison Complex-Kingman, pictured on Friday.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner -- The Arizona State Prison Complex-Kingman, pictured on Friday.

Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Johnathan Doody was found guilty 17 years ago of killing nine people at a Phoenix-area Buddhist Temple. The victims were robbed, lined up and shot execution-style.

Doody was one of two men convicted in the 1991 killings, which remains one of the worst mass-murders in Arizona history. Since June 30, he has been housed at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Kingman in Golden Valley.

As of the end of June, there were 117 murderers serving out life sentences at the Kingman prison. Of those, 57 have been convicted of first-degree murder.

Statewide, some 1,400 inmates are serving time for murder in medium-security facilities. Of those, 796 are serving life sentences.

Much of the anger over last week's prison escape came from the fact that the three men who escaped were all violent offenders convicted of either murder or attempted murder. Residents said that when the prison was built in 2004, they were told that it would house only DUI and other low-level offenders. That belief was officially debunked after it was learned that the three inmates who escaped more than a week ago all share violent criminal histories.

John McCluskey was serving a 15-year sentence for attempted murder after shooting at someone through the window of a Mesa home in 2009. He reportedly told police that he would have killed the man, along with the arresting police officer, if his shotgun hadn't jammed.

Tracy Province was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and armed robbery after stabbing a man 51 times in 1991.

Daniel Renwick, the inmate captured in Colorado two days after the escape, was serving two consecutive 22-year sentences for shooting and killing his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend and her father in 2000.

The Kingman facility, which opened in 2004, is one of four privately-run prisons in the state. The Arizona Department of Corrections operates 10 others.

The Utah-based Management and Training Corporation operates the Kingman and Marana prisons.

The Kingman prison is classified as a minimum-to-medium security facility. Many individuals are unaware that someone serving out a sentence for murder can be classified as medium custody, a practice common not only in Arizona but also in neighboring states California and New Mexico, according to Barrett Marson, public information officer for the ADOC.

Marson said that it's possible for inmates to work their way down the levels of custody based on good behavior and how many years of a sentence have been served.

According to the ADOC, inmates sentenced to death are classified as "maximum" and can never reduce levels.

Inmates sentenced to life must serve at least two years in maximum custody, then three years in "close" custody before they are eligible for medium custody. Close custody is one level below maximum and just above medium custody and is reserved for those inmates who pose a high risk to prison staff.

Those serving life sentences can never be reduced to below the medium custody level.

Inmates with more than five years to serve or those with a felony sex conviction can also never be placed below medium custody.

Inmates who have been determined to be a security threat are classified as maximum custody.

Marson said there is a specific department at ADOC devoted to determining when and how an inmate is reclassified from level to level, but he didn't know if a representative from that department meets with the inmate in person, or if the process is all done through paperwork.

Only minimum-custody inmates are allowed to work outside of the prison on community work crews. Medium-security inmates are not allowed to leave the facility but can participate in other programs, such as the Friends From the Pen dog-training program, in which both McCluskey and Province worked.

It is believed that the escaped inmates took advantage of the unlocked doors between their dormitory and the outside dog run used for the dogs in the program. McCluskey's fiancée, 44-year-old Casslyn Welch, was waiting in a getaway vehicle and tossed the men a pair of wire cutters over the perimeter fence.

ADOC Director Charles Ryan has said he suspects that "lax security" on the part of prison personnel contributed to the escape.

Ryan met Wednesday with MTC officials.

"We have been assured that MTC is committed to addressing and correcting the security deficiencies that contributed to the escape," he said in a news release. "An Arizona Department of Corrections security team is at the private prison conducting a comprehensive operational evaluation."

Attempts made by the Miner to speak with Ryan have been unsuccessful.

The officials will meet again next week. MTC has deferred comment on the escape to ADOC.

Province and McCluskey are still believed to be with Welch. Marson said authorities believe the trio have left Arizona and are headed east.

As for Doody, he is appealing his 281-year sentence. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year threw out his confession on grounds it was involuntary and forwarded the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it awaits ruling.

Related Stories:
• Family of murder victims sue prison
• Escapees, Welch arraigned

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010
Article comment by: mtn girl

To "employment opportunity" and "dose of reality" - I find the cavalier attitude of your comments sickening quite frankly. What's next, do you expect the residents of Golden Valley and Kingman to pray that MTC has a better year and makes more profit than the tens of millions of dollars it already makes in a year in AZ? If you don't like the burden DOC places on you then get out of the business, or make changes that protect the public's and your employee's safety, better! Regarding the comment about sending several inmates to local hospitals after the last riot as "putting money in the community", I bet the doctors and nurses would rather NOT have to treat inmates, (lets hope) under heavy guard, in the first place.

So much for MTC's "Success for Life" marketing strategy at this facility - a nice couple from Oklahoma, who were enjoying their retirement, paid for it on what was supposed to be their annual camping trip. Tell your excuses, and your demands for privatization of something as important as public safety to their family and friends. I expect they won't buy it, and neither are many residents (like myself) of Northern AZ. I hope the last escapee and his cousin/fiancee are apprehended soon, and no other innocent citizens have to die in the process. MTC and DOC need to be held accountable for this tragedy - this was not just human error, it was systemic failure on many levels within AZ's correction system.

Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Article comment by: Ain't No Daisy

@ Robert Keiper

You are correct, I misspoke. From the same source - the U.S., while only 5% of the world's population, accounts for 25% of the world's incarcerated citizens. But, the rate of incarceration is still, according to several sources, the highest in the world, and Arizona's is 23% higher than the national average.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Article comment by: Just Wow

The title is ridiculus. 117 killers housed in Golden Valley.....all i've heard is it was Kingman Prison. And now something happened and its named Golden Vally Prison. Oh watch out dont wanna give Kingman a bad name.

I did not know there was murderers there! Since I moved back to Kingman I was told the prison only held DUI prisoners. This makes me scared for my children.
I'd never want a job out there! Screw that!

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Article comment by: Concerned Taxpayer

Just another example of the tax payers being lied to, lives put in jeopardy, and the politicians not caring as long as they can rip us off for our tax dollars.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Article comment by: Virginia Kinkle

@ employment opportunity

Well let me guess, you could be a Buster Johnson supporter - you know rah rah for the Prison, or one of the many mis guided elected officials that are rah rah for the Prison. Or dare I say an employee of MTC and is rah rah for keeping your job! Here we go again we need the jobs excuse. Well let me tell you, you do not know about the training or lack of it. First of all it went from 9 to 10 weeks at the Mohave Community College (and yes they actually recieved a college certificate), down to 8 weeks, and now down to 5 weeks. 5 weeks to learn everything, it is not practicle. These cadets are hired because they have passed a drug test, but they have not recieved the psych evaluation yet. After the psych evaluation well there goes a reduction in the training class. Then because of the shortened training, more leave. So what you are left with are individuals that have been rushed trained, and then are released to 1 week training on the floor and are turned loose with an overworked staff member over them. That is as new as they are. The disturbance you make reference to was a race riot. But you would know this. As for your reference taking inmates to our local hospital (putting money in our community), perhaps you should ask the citizens that had to wait until those poor injured inmates recieved medical care and were hand cuffed to the hospital bed. And your reference to (they DO carry handcuffs) last time anyone checked I was unaware that handcuffs could stop an assult of an employee, or a stabbing. But what really gets me steamed is your comment "mistakes were made and will be corrected, can you honestly tell me you have never made a mistake", This mistake cost the lives of two innocent people. Unfortunately this mistake has put blood on the hands of MTC, ADOC and the Mohave County Supervisors including Buster Johnson, because of greed and the all mighty dollar called profit, the welfare and safety of this entire community was ignored. And if you were here back in 2004 and again in 2007 lots of citizens spoke up to voice concern against this same "employer" you so brag about. Yet the Mohave County Supervisors sat there with a blank stare and all voted to approve this facility, because of the excuse "we need the jobs"! Perhaps in your bragging of the employment opportunities with MTC you should contact the family of the couple that was murdered. You could tell them what a great place it is to work at, I am sure that they will have a different opinion.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Robert Keiper

@ Aint No Daisy- the US incarceration rate as of 2008 was .75%, a far cry from 25%. Also in 2008, when we add all incarcerated people with all people on probation and parole and other supervision the number is only 3.2%. Yes, there needs to be a rethinking on the penal system here, but making up statistics to support your views and sounding phony alarm bells helps not your cause, nor anyone elses. Here is the link to that info...

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Ain't No Daisy

ROFL! Where did you think they were going to put all the killers when you fill all the prisons with drunks and potheads? You can't have it both ways people - you can't lock-up everyone that looks at you funny and expect there to be unlimited resources to fund it. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world - close to 25% of it's population is incarcerated. WAKE UP and smell the police state.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Irene OConnell

@ Scooby Doo.

Your 100% right about the BOS. They really, truly, do not care about the citizens of Mohave County. It's a shame too. I moved here from a crime infested city 5 years ago and was stunned to learn about the prison break. Come next election, let elect to boot everyone off the BOS and we can take their places !!!!!

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: what is going on here no name

7/28/2004 6:10:00 PM
All they need are inmates at new prison

KINGMAN – After two years of waiting, a private prison located 17 miles southwest of Kingman is ready to open.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday at Arizona State Prison -- Kingman, which is located three miles west of Interstate 40 at the Griffith Energy exit.
The project was originally slated to open in the spring of 2002, but became bogged down due to financial negotiations between the governor, Department of Corrections and the facility's operator, Management & Training Corp of Centerville, Utah.
Department of Corrections official Mike Smarik addressed a crowd of some 40 or so persons on Friday.
Speaking on behalf of DOC Director Dora Schriro – who couldn't make the ceremony due to a family emergency – Smarik said it's been "a long and arduous road to get here." He said that with the help of Management & Training Corp. and state Sen. Linda Binder, "we made it finally."
"We need the beds," Smarik said after the ceremony. "We're anxious for Aug. 9 to roll around. It will help us ease our overcrowding."
Monday, Aug. 9 is the first day the facility will be officially open.
DOC will send 50 inmates to the prison on that day, and within several weeks with have up to 472 inmates housed there, Smarik said.
The entire facility should be complete by next June, and will be able to house a maximum of 1,400 DUI inmates.
There are 121 full-time employees at the prison currently, with an additional 290 to be added at the completion of Phase II.
MTC is managing the facility, and will use a "Success for Life" holistic rehabilitation strategy with the inmates.
The rehab process includes educational, therapeutic and job training activities during the day, combined with community service, spiritual/ethical, recreation, and leisure time during other periods.
Before the inmates re-enter society, MTC will help them prepare an individual portfolio complete with aftercare and community referrals.
Security personnel who have completed a training program at Mohave Community College will be staffing the $60 million facility.
Canam Construction of Edmond, Okla., a part of Dominion Venture Group L.L.C., is building the prison.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: confused 2010

Why are there convicted murders working in the kennel area with the dogs?? Two out of three escaped inmates were kennel workers!!

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Michael Ramos

Well, perhaps if we weren't imprisoning over a million non-violent drug offenders in this country (at a cost of $54,000 per inmate per year) we'd be able to better concentrate on offenders like these guys...... nah, that'd be silly, right?

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Happy desert rat

Tracy Province captured in Meeteetse, Wy, monday morning

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: scott dilts

When working there all you were given was keys and a radio. When working on the units you were not aloud any weapons of such. The only people who were armed were the tower when it was completed and the perimeter truck. Or when taking a inmate off of the prison grounds. And what I don't get is why they tried to hide this and do it on there own it was trained that when a escape was to happen you had to do all the notifications when it took place not wait for a hour to call local law. I sure hope the Capt and Warden take a closer look in what they wanted for people who work there maybe raise the pay or have Az. Doc take it over and show them how to run a real prison.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: ryan ruck

Re: Guards not having weapons.
The guards carry pepper spray, cuffs, batons and zip ties. During riots or alerts they have shot guns loaded with bean bags, tear gas guns and pepperball guns. I know this because I was once housed in the Kingman Unit. I was incarcerated with alot of guys in that facility that I wouldnt want on the streets around my family. I hope everyone that has been taken back by what just happened in our backyard presses for answers.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: employment opportunity

While I do agree these are bad men and need to be captured, and that it is very unfortunate two people have lost their lives. Where was your complaining before the prison opened or built? Where has your complaining been since MTC has hired over 600 employees in Mohave County alone. Where is your knowledge, NOT assumptions about the training and weaponry carried or not by personnel in and around the prison. Unless you work there, or have worked there, you don't know squat! (PS They DO carry handcuffs)

The editors of this paper will sensationalize a story because it SELLS papers! Not because they care about you or anyone else. Yes, bad things happen, sadly two people have lost their lives. NO AMOUNT OF MONEY WILL BRING THEM BACK!!! We as a society can and should push for the death penalty of those responsible for the killings.

This has not been a great year publicly for MTC, they had a "disturbance" (riot) in May that sent several inmates to local hospitals (putting money in our community), and then the escape. MTC will probably be fined by the state and some changes made, possibly even personnel losing their jobs. In the end we have to thank MTC for bringing JOBS to our community, which in case you haven't figured it out, JOBS = MONEY in our community, so before you all jump on the band wagon to tar and feather MTC remember what the employees are and where they come from (I'll give you a hint they come from your community).

Many of the men and women that work out at the prison are some of the best and brightest our community has to offer. Mistakes were made and will be corrected, can you honestly tell me you have never made a mistake? I don't think anyone can. We should pray for the ones who have lost their lives and we should be praying everyday for the safety of the men and women who work out there, it is just as dangerous as the police officer on the street. If you don't believe me ask someone who works there.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Great Gildersleeve

Minimum/medium security is supposed to mean more freedoms and less restrictions INSIDE the prison. Minimum/medium security is not supposed to mean less safeguards OUTSIDE the prison! Where is the razor cyclone wire at the fence? Etc Etc Etc??? Damn them, they put the entire community at tremendous risk with this!

These escapees are allegedly responsible for the recent murders in NM, that could have easily been any one of our friends or family members here in Kingman!

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: M. Ghost Dancer Wene

O.K. "Dose of Reality", guess I somehow ruffled your feathers, or stepped on your toes.

I think you should know that I have lived within 25 miles of a prison which incarcerated some VERY dangerous and violent criminals, BUT I was made aware of that fact when I was investigating the possibility of moving to that area. I also was made clearly aware of the staffing, the stringent management of the facility, the notification system/methods to inform the local authorities and the citizens if God forbid ANY of the inmates were to get loose. I did the same investigation/questioning before I purchased my property in Golden Valley and was assurred that there would be ONLY DUI/blue color, low to no public endangerment risk inmates.

Your whole attitude seems to be that those of us who are upset by this whole situation, the lack of openness, honesty with the citizens by the "Powers that Be", is that we don't have a right to speak up, should shut up, go away.

Inability of the staff is exactly what I mean. Do you think chatting up a female while 3 hardened, EXCEPTIONALLY VIOLENT, cut a fence and get away is performing ones duties to their fullest extent?

NO I don't want the Sheriffs dept/State Troopers to babysit me, but I do expect that there be some sort of public notification/alert to be issued within a reasonable amount of time. Finding out about this fiasco in the Philadelphia Inquirer at 11:30 a.m. the next day, is not what I would call any sort of timely warning. By the way helicopters over Golden Valley is not an uncommon situation, and they are not always law enforcement units, but also military, utility inspection, medical, etc., MAYBE I should have signaled them to land on my property so I could check their credentials.

I am a citizen, taxpayer, property owner here and as such have the right to voice my opinion on situations such as this and others. At 74, having be very involved in local affairs in the many localities I have lived in, I am certainly not going to stop speaking up when I feel that something needs addressing. By the way, I don't feel that ANY inmate who is a murderer, violent, an iminent danger/threat to the public should EVER have his or her status downgraded.

You don't like me questioning what is going on? Well, that is your personal outlook, but I think there is more behind your rather insulting response to my comments.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Mike M

I find it funny that as soon as something bad happened that the Arizona State prison in KINGMAN is now the Golden Valley jail!!!

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Old lady in the desert

Well, "dose of reality", maybe you should have a bit of that instead of attacking Ms. Wene. The prison is understaffed, and under protected, well, the prison isn't under protected, the public is. I remember when the place was proposed and built, and it was supposedly low security, dui's and blue collar crime. When murderers were brought in, the facility should have been upgraded, and additional staff trained for higher levels of criminals. That a woman, or anyone could distract a guard, even get close enough to do so, while a fence was cut, is unconscionable. You may think it is all fine and dandy to have these people running loose, but I do not, nor does the family of the couple murdered in New Mexico. I feel you are making excuses for the lax security at the prison. What is your interest in doing so? The point, Mr. "Reality", is that the public has been put in unwarranted danger by D.O.C..
When I sit out on my porch at night, relaxing before I go to bed, I should not feel as though I need to be armed just in case there happens to be another prison break. I choose to live in Golden Valley for the peace and solitude. The stars and the sounds of nature that one doesn't hear in a town or city, not to be watching over my shoulder to see what in heck is coming up the road from the prison. I am sure Ms. Wene lives here for similar reasons. And yes, I do believe we need a housecleaning in the county. Is that what upset you about Ms Wene's comment? Incidentally, this is not the first time Ms. Wene has become involved in the happenings of the county. Nor the first complaint she has made. Nice you got your facts straight and know Ms. Wene and her activities, eh?
I do not expect the sheriff nor the police to "babysit" me, but I DO want to know when I am in jeopardy so I may take measures to protect myself. At 70 years old, there is only myself to protect me.
Oh, and now we know who is in there, we can look them up online. Did anyone know any of these people were there before this break?
Someone needs to answer for this. And steps to make that prison a bit more secure need to be taken. Cutting the fence indeed while the one guard chats up a woman, indeed!!

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: minnie mouse

re: dose of reality Do you live in the golden valley area....well I do and all the facts are great BUT WHY are they in this PRISON it is for the MONEY ..... WHERE were the GUARDS when they were cutting the fence ??? Lets get the ANSWERS to these QUESTIONS ??? WHY did it take so long to CONNECT HELP ???? People have been KILLED now NOW WHAT ????

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: VOTE THEM OUT!!

Anyone that votes for Buster Johnson, Gary Watson, or Tom Sockwell in the next election should be ASHAMED of themselves.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Freedom Lover

Thank you, thank you, BOS for putting all our lives in extreme danger.
I feel so much safer now that you'll be "meeting and discussing" this with the Sheriff & others.
God help us because our elected officials sure aren't.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: logan stenseth

wow my couisn is erving there and wrote telling bout the escape the police need to seriously step up there game or just open the gates and let them run free seriously they should rebuild the fence and make it a 15 foot wall with electrified rasor wire i dont care who u are ur not clearing that and if money is the issue for kingman resident safety the instead of buliding more fast food restaurants on stockton hill invest in the wall idea and we wont have this problem of phycotic murderes escaping and running amuck.

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Dose of Reality

@ M. Ghost Dancer Wene

First off, the truth? Who the hell did you think was in there? Girl scouts and puppys? It is a PRISON. One of the four or five largest in the state. There are plenty of people that post here that were aware of the meduim side. Just because you weren't, doesn't mean you can cry louder.

Second, The state and the employee's of the prison will be responsible. It is not a one sided deal like most people think.

What do you mean "-inability of the staff"? It's been there six friggin years and this is your first compliant? Do some research before you b!tch. Escapes unfortunate as they are, DO HAPPEN. Read a paper sometime. There are roughly 3 million people in prison, and as of 1997 and there were about 1,400 escapes that year alone. In 2006 there were 7 million behind bars, now go get a calculator.

"-The lack of public notification." Would you really like to be woken up to be told hey they are in flaggstaff? I guess the helicopter doing grid searches over golden valley wasn't much of a clue, huh?

"-not to mention making sure that none of us are in jeopardy. " You want the Prison/Sheriff/police to babysit you instead of looking for the escapee's?

That prison has been dealing with whatever ADC throws in there. They are under contract to accept level three's under the state's classification scores. They have no say in who is sent. the link below is for the inmate on the front page of todays paper. 9 murder changes and 10 armed robbery charges and it only took this guy 4 years to be a medium inmate with ADC!

ADC send whomever they want there and MTC has spent six years dealing with it. They have responsibilty in this mess, but they have also done more than they're fair share of the work.

Here's a fun fact: This inmate worked on 12/05/2005 AZ CORR INDUSTRIES
(copied right from the ADC website)
Thats a prison construction crew (Usually outside!)

Thank ADC! and a SPECIAL thanks to Charles Ryan!

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010
Article comment by: Henry Hill

@ Another Kingman Resident

Excellent research! As they continue to insinuate that we should've known that the types of inmates housed there had changed, we could use you to shoot down the lies that are assured to continue!

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