Texas set to execute Joseph Garcia, one of the “Texas Seven” prison escapees
Joseph Garcia was four years into a 50-year sentence for a 1996 Bexar County murder when he joined six other inmates who escaped prison, went on the run and killed Irving Police officer Aubrey Hawkins in a Christmas Eve robbery.
Texas is scheduled to execute Garcia, 47, on Tuesday evening, almost 18 years after he and the other inmates known as the “Texas Seven”construed a detailed plan to break out of the Connally Unit in Karnes County. On the afternoon of Dec. 13, 2000, the seven men overpowered prison workers, took their uniforms, stole fourteen handguns, a shotgun, an AR-15 rifle and more than 100 rounds of ammunition before fleeing north in a prison truck.
The escaped prisoners managed to avoid law enforcement until Christmas Eve, when a botched robbery at a sporting goods store in Irving resulted in a shootout between the escaped convicts and Hawkins.
During the robbery, a witness called 911 and Hawkins arrived at the scene shortly thereafter. According to court records, Hawkins was killed within minutes of arriving on the scene. Five of the escaped inmates simultaneously opened fire against the officer, who was shot nearly a dozen times.
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