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Member of the “Texas 7” executed Tuesday night

Posted at 1:12 PM, Dec 04, 2018

(HUNTSVILLE, TX) – Pursuant to the order of the 283rd Criminal District Court of Dallas County, the execution of Joseph Christopher Garcia, was carried out in the manner as prescribed by the laws of the State of Texas.  Several appeals were denied prior to the execution.

Attorneys for the death row inmate said he should have been spared because he wasn’t the one who killed a suburban Dallas police officer during a Christmas Eve robbery 18 years ago, it was other escaped inmates he was with.

47-year old Joseph Garcia was among the notorious “Texas 7” gang of inmates who escaped from a South Texas prison in December 2000 and then committed numerous robberies, including the one in which they shot 29-year-old Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins 11 times, killing him.

Hawkins had just finished Christmas Eve dinner with his family when he responded to the call about the robbery at a sporting goods store and was ambushed by the men.

The escaped inmates were arrested a month later here in Colorado Springs, ending a six-week long manhunt. One of them killed himself as officers closed in and the other six were convicted of killing Hawkins and sentenced to death. Garcia would be the fourth to be executed and the other two are on death row.

Garcia’s attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution, arguing that he never fired his gun at Hawkins or intended to kill the officer. One of his lawyers, J. Stephen Cooper, said prosecutors didn’t have any information that showed his client was one of the gunmen.

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.

Garcia was serving 50 years for a San Antonio-area murder when he and the other six inmates broke out of prison. He’s the 22nd inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the 12th executed in Texas, which is the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.

Joseph Garcia
Joseph Garcia was executed on December 4, 2018. (Texas Department of Corrections photo)