Member of ‘Texas 7’ gang of prison escapees executed

Joseph Garcia. (Texas prison photo)
By  | 

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) A member of the notorious "Texas 7" gang of escaped prisoners was executed Tuesday evening for the fatal shooting of a suburban Dallas police officer during a Christmas Eve robbery nearly 18 years ago.

Joseph Garcia, 47, received lethal injection Tuesday evening in the state’s death chamber in Huntsville for the 2000 shooting death of Irving police Officer Aubrey Hawkins.

Garcia was part of a group of seven inmates that broke out of a South Texas prison in December 2000 and committed numerous robberies before being captured, including the one during which they killed Hawkins.

Six of the seven were captured the following month in Colorado.

The seventh committed suicide as police closed in.

Four of the six including Garcia have been executed.

Two still are awaiting execution dates.

Garcia's attorneys had five appeals before the Supreme Court that were rejected Tuesday evening.

They argued he should have been spared because others killed Hawkins.

Garcia was convicted under Texas' law of parties, in which a person can be held responsible for another individual's crime if he or she assisted or attempted to help in the commission of that crime.

He was the 22nd person put to death this year in the U.S.