George Rivas, the ringleader of the Texas Seven, is slated to die in the death chamber in Huntsville Wednesday evening, the second man Texas will execute this year.
Rivas spent over a year planning his 2000 prison break from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Connally Unit in Kenedy, where he was serving seventeen life sentences, according to Michael Graczyk of the Associated Press. While on the run, the escaped men shot and killed Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins during the robbery of an Oshman's Sporting Goods Store.
After Hawkins was murdered, the men fled during a snowstorm to Colorado, where they "set up a base camp in a Woodland Park RV park and embarked on three weeks of massages, bar-hopping and Bible study," Pam Zubeck wrote in last week's cover story of the Colorado Springs Independent on Rivas and the Texas Seven.
Rivas, an El Paso native, gave an exclusive jailhouse interview to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram 's Darren Barbee. "It's bittersweet," Rivas told Barbee of his impending death. "Bitter because I hurt for my family, for them. Sweet because it's almost over." Rivas' attorney told Barbee that the inmate views his execution as "his parole."