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Students feel relief as cons are nabbed

Jan. 23, 2001

By JOHN HALL

Staff writer

Students and staff said they are relieved that four of the seven escapees from a maximum-security prison in Kenedy have been arrested in Woodland Park, Colo., just outside Colorado Springs. Another escapee apparently committed suicide.

'I'm glad. I'm so glad,' said Sylvia Navarro, a Waco resident. 'You can't be too careful today. You're always wondering if they're around the corner. You're always worrying who's behind you.'

Other students said they weren't affected by the news.

'I'm partially relieved by the news of their capture, but it's not like anyone is safe 100 percent of the time anyway,' said Lauren Ray, a Keller sophomore.

Clay Potter, an Allen junior, said he didn't feel any personal danger because of the 'Connally Seven.'

'I don't think it [the escape] poses a threat to me personally,' Potter said. 'I don't think they [the remaining fugitives] will just be popping their head up for no reason.'

Potter said he believed the authorities did a good job in their search.

'Their pictures are everywhere,' Potter said. 'They are on the news. I think they've [police] done a good job.'

Navarro said she believes the police 'did the best job they could with what they had' but said she was surprised they made it out of Texas.

'I think someone had to help them get out,' Navarro said. 'Whoever helped them needs to be punished.'

Another student said he believes this incident proved the importance of the Second Amendment right to carry firearms.

'It just goes to show why people should be able to carry guns around for self protection,' said Jack Somers, a Little Rock freshman. 'I mean if there are people like that running around with guns, you should be able to protect yourself as long as you handle it responsibly.'

The police arrested George Rivas, Randy Halprin, Joseph Garcia and Michael Rodriguez. Larry Harper apparently committed suicide. Patrick Henry Murphy Jr. and Donald Keith Newbury are still at large.