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Leader Of Notorious Texas 7 Gang To Die Wednesday

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HUNTSVILLE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - George Rivas already was saddled with 17 life prison terms when he told a Dallas County jury he deserved death for organizing the largest-ever jailbreak from a Texas prison and then killing an Irving police officer.

Prosecutors urged jurors to not be manipulated by the leader of the notorious “Texas 7″ gang of fugitives, insisting Rivas was trying to trick them into avoiding the death chamber.

Jurors decided he should die. And now the 41-year-old Rivas is set for lethal injection Wednesday evening in Huntsville.

Rivas and six other prisoners at the John B. Connally Unit, near Kenedy, overpowered guards and escaped in December of 2000.

Their crime spree eventually led them to North Texas on Christmas Eve. Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins, 29, was shot and killed after he interrupted the convicts as they robbed a a sporting goods store. Hawkins was shot 11 times.

Attorneys say Rivaa appeals are exhausted. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected a clemency request. And Rivas acknowledges he’s ready to die for fatally shooting Officer Hawkins.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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