‘Texas 7’ Gang Leader Executed In Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE(CBSDFW.COM) – The leader of a group of prison escapees that became known as the Texas Seven is dead.

At 6:22 p.m. Wednesday, the state of Texas executed George Rivas, the highest profile death row inmate in years.

Rivas was already a notorious criminal, serving a total of 18 consecutive 15-year-to-life sentences, when he gained infamy in 2000 as the leader of a band of prison escapees.

Wednesday evening, the 41-year-old was administered a lethal injection in the state’s death chamber in Huntsville

His last words were an apology to the family of a man he killed, Irving Police officer Aubrey Hawkins.

On Christmas Eve of 2000, eleven days after Rivas and six other violent prisoners broke out of the Connally Unit in Kenedy, the group robbed a sporting goods store in Irving.

Officer Hawkins arrived on the scene, was shot nearly a dozen times, and was then run over.

“I do apologize for everything that happened, not because I am here, but for closure in your hearts,” said Rivas in his final words. “I am ready to go.”

The seven escapees remained on the run for another month before authorities received a tip they were staying at an RV park in Woodland Park, Colorado.

Six of the escapees were captured, including Rivas, while a seventh committed suicide.

Rivas was tried in Dallas and said he deserved a death sentence, but spent 11 years appealing the punishment.

“Aubrey was my man, he worked for me, I felt responsible for him,” said former Irving Police Chief Lowell Cannady.

Among those in Huntsville who witnessed the execution was attorney Toby Shook, the prosecutor in the Rivas case.

“This crime couldn’t be more brutal… breaking out of prison, murdering a police officer. It’s a case that gives a great example to why the death penalty is appropriate in certain cases,” said Shook. “Today is not about George Rivas. Today is not about the death penalty. Today is about justice for Aubrey Hawkins.”

While a group of Irving police officers waited for word that Rivas had been executed, a text message brought a bittersweet smile to Cannady’s face.

“I got a text a little while ago that said his son is about to be a father, so I think that made me feel really good,” he said. “Everything from joy for him to regret that his father is not going to be here for that occasion.”

Michael Rodriguez is the only one of the six living escapees to be executed so far. Four others remain on death row in the Polunksy Unit in Livingston.

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  • Kuifje

    1. Rivas got 17 life sentences for a series of robberies, in which nobody got injured. That tells about everything about the Texas justice system.

    2. Yes, he was an outlaw, but he was an outlaw with a sense of honor and a lot of guts. During his trial he took full responsibility for the killing of Officer Hawkins and said he deserved to die. That’s what I call courage.

    3. Governor Perry could use some of that, I guess.

    • Shawn

      I care. Death Penalty shows that we as a society advocate for such a thing. Life in prison is a slow horrible death. Death Penalty is a way out. Governor Perry just likes the good old wild west justice. He is an idiot!!!

    • Enough Already

      As opposed to what? Letting him out to become another recidivist maggot? He got caught after his first robbery and was sentenced to 10 years probation. Did that stop him? No! He had a chance then to turn it around and chose not to. My only regret is that they didn’t cut him in half with gunfire when they found him in Colorado. I’ll sleep better tonight knowing that the worms are fed.

    • Good Riddance

      Hey, hippie. Your hero is dead. UP YOURS.

    • lol

      no one cares, Kuifje.

    • pyjoero

      Your thought process indicates why our society is like it is. Nobody got hurt so it’s ok. And yes, it does tell us about the Texas justice system. It tells us this is what is needed throughout the entire country.

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/texas-7%e2%80%b2-gang-leader-set-for-execution-in-huntsville/ ‘Texas 7′ Gang Leader Set For Execution In Huntsville « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Go to News Source […]

  • http://dallasforme.com/2012/02/texas-7-gang-leader-set-for-execution-in-huntsville/ » ?Texas 7? Gang Leader Set For Execution In Huntsville Me and the Chicks

    […] total of 18, 15-year-to-life sentences. He gained infamy as the leader of a band of prison escapees. More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/0… Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a […]

  • Good Riddance

    SIX O’CLOCK!! Let’s pop the champagne!!!

  • http://dallasforme.com/2012/02/texas-7-gang-leader-executed-in-huntsville/ » ?Texas 7? Gang Leader Executed In Huntsville Me and the Chicks

    […] Wednesday, the state of Texas executed George Rivas, the highest profile death row inmate in years. More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/0… Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a […]

  • NiteNurse

    While I am not againist executing criminals for murder I never celebrate their deaths. I think about how sad that this person ended up like this. What can we as a society do to prevent the creation of more people like this. Is there something we can do now to help some kid who might in the future think it’s okay to kill.

  • pyjoero

    He got what he deserved way later than he should have. Good riddance.

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