Baylor > Lariat Archives > News


Texas 7 Timeline

Jan. 23, 2001

Dec. 13, 2000: The gang breaks out of the Connally Unit in Kenedy, southeast of San Antonio, by overpowering civilian workers and a guard in the maintenance shop where they worked. They stole work clothing, a pickup truck and 16 firearms.

Dec. 15, 2000: Two of the fugitives, ringleader George Rivas and Donald Newbury, are suspected of robbing a Radio Shack in Pearland, a suburb southwest of Houston, stealing police scanners.

Dec. 24, 2000: The convicts are suspected of robbing an Oshman's sporting goods store in Irving, using the scanners to monitor police activity and killing responding officer Aubrey Hawkins. The robbers escape with $70,000 in cash and checks, 25 weapons and clothing.

Dec. 26, 2000: Police raid an Arlington hotel on a tip that several guests may be some of the escaped inmates. But after talking to them and comparing them to photographs, officers decided it was a case of mistaken identity.

Dec. 31, 2000: A fireworks stand in south Dallas County is robbed by three men wearing bandanas and camouflage clothing. Prison officials initially believe it may be the fugitives, but later discount that theory.

Jan. 3, 2001: The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in San Antonio charges the men with weapons violations. An autopsy report is released showing that the slain Irving officer suffered 11 gunshot wounds and was run over by a vehicle.

Jan. 4, 2001: FBI agents in the Dallas area file separate federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid federal prosecution for capital murder, broadening the manhunt nationwide. In San Marcos, about 210 miles south of Dallas, witnesses at a bank claim to see men fitting the description, and identify two of the inmates from photos. The sighting is unconfirmed by prison officials.

Jan. 11, 2000: The Texas Board of Criminal Justice releases its 'serious incident review' of the escape, which says prison staff missed critical opportunities to prevent the escape by ignoring a fire alarm, not reporting unsupervised inmates and not demanding proper identification from inmates disguised as maintenance workers.

Jan. 18, 2001: The ATF added $60,000 to the $440,000 reward, bringing the total to $500,000 for tips leading to the arrest and capture of the escapees.

Jan. 22, 2001: Law enforcement officers outside Colorado Springs, Colo., arrest four of the seven and a fifth is barricaded.