Member of infamous ‘Texas Seven’ executed

Donald Newbury, a member of the infamous Texas Seven, was executed at the Walls penitentiary Unit in Huntsville on Wednesday for the murder of Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins.

Associated Press

Associated Press

Members of Irving Police Department stood vigilant around the Walls Unit as the sixth hour approached, being sure that nothing would halt Newbury’s execution. As the hour passed, along with Newbury, the officers revved motorcycle engines in a show of solidarity for their fallen friend.

On Dec. 13, 2000, Newbury took part in an escape from the John B. Connally Unit, a maximum-security state prison in Kenedy. Newbury and six accomplices spent almost a month on the run before they were apprehended.

The party consisted of Joseph Garcia, Randy Halprin, Larry Harper, Patrick Murphy Jr., Donald Newbury, George Rivas and Michael Rodriguez. Each of the men were serving extensive sentences for crimes ranging from injury to a child, to murder.

Newbury was serving a 99-year sentence for aggravated robbery, but was suspected of 85 robberies total.

The crew managed to escape by attacking and subduing 16 people, killing one in the process and leaving the rest bound and gagged.

Once free of their bonds, the group went on a crime spree, beginning with the robbery of a Radio Shack in Pearland.

The peak of chaos was reached six days after the group had escaped when they robbed a sporting goods store. During the robbery, an off-duty employee of the store alerted police.

Hawkins was the first to respond to the call and was subsequently shot a fatal 11 times, earning the culprits a spot on America’s Most Wanted and the death penalty.

Witnesses contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, claiming that the escapees were hiding out in an R.V. Park in Woodland Park, Colorado on Jan. 20, 2001.

The FBI trailed them to a nearby gas station where five of the seven were caught. However, Harper committed suicide before he could be taken into custody.

The rampage came to an end when the FBI was alerted of the last two criminals hiding in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Upon their return to Texas, each of the remaining six was sentenced to death. The first to face the needle was Rodriguez, after voluntarily foregoing any appeals. He was executed Aug. 14, 2008.

Rivas followed less than four years later, according to TDCJ documents.

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