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Jerry Martin Set for Execution Tuesday

By: Natasha Sweatte Email
By: Natasha Sweatte Email

An inmate on death row is set to receive his lethal injection Tuesday for escaping the Wynne Unit with another inmate and killing a correctional officer riding a horse.

Jerry Martin, 43 and John Falk Jr., 46 fled from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville on September 24, 2007.

Authorities said after they escaped, the two men stole a gun from an officer along with a nearby city vehicle and then rammed the car straight into a horse, ridden by Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional Officer Susan Canfield, 59.

She was killed instantly.

Police said Martin and Falk then ditched the city vehicle for another one in the Guarantee Bank parking lot. Authorities were able to arrest Falk, but Martin ran into a nearby wooded area. He was located just north of Huntsville with assistance from the canine unit.

“We had a group of tracking dogs that actually came from the Wynne unit, which is where they escaped, that located him,” said Michelle Lyons, TDCJ Spokesperson in a 2007 interview.

Months later in December of 2007, documents reveal a review found that prison supervisor Joe Jeffcoat had created an opportunity for the escape. Authorities said Jeffcoat allowed Martin to improperly approach him and asked if the officer would hold his broken watch. Jeffcoat later resigned.

Last June, Martin said he wanted to give Canfield’s family closure after losing his own father. Martin has ordered no more appeals to be filed to try to stop his scheduled lethal injection. It will be carried out Tuesday evening.

News 3 will have a team in Huntsville Tuesday with reaction from those in attendance.

A new trial for Falk is still pending.

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