Leader of 'Texas 7' prison-break gang put to death

Courtesy: Texas Department of Corrections
Courtesy: Texas Department of Corrections

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - An inmate who organized Texas' biggest prison break has been executed for gunning down a suburban Dallas police officer 11 years ago.

George Rivas was leader of the fugitive gang known as the "Texas 7." The 41-year-old received lethal injection Wednesday evening in Huntsville.

He was among a group of inmates who escaped a prison south of San Antonio in December 2000. Rivas was serving 18 life sentences at the time of the escape. The gang opened fire on 29-year-old Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins on Christmas Eve 2000. The wounded Hawkins was also run over by a stolen SUV driven by Rivas.

The officer had interrupted the gang's holdup of a sporting goods store. Rivas and the other fugitives were caught about a month later in Colorado.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)