Michael Anthony Rodriguez is one of the infamous Texas Seven who murdered police officer Aubrey Hawkins in cold blood while they were on the lam from prison. Rodriguez is asking to be put to death. Read about it below and see a photo of him and of his victim, Officer Hawkins.

UPDATE: Michael Rodriguez was executed a few hours ago.

Michael Rodriguez, who had dropped all appeals and volunteered for lethal injection, apologized profusely to the officer’s widow and his own former sister-in-law before the lethal injection. He had been serving a life sentence for killing his wife at the time of the 2000 escape.

“My punishment is nothing compared to the pain and suffering I’ve brought you,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not strong enough to ask for forgiveness. I ask the Lord to forgive. I’ve done horrible things that brought sorrow and pain to these wonderful people,” he said, looking directly at the women.

“I’m sorry, so sorry,” he said.

As the drugs took effect, Rodriguez, 45, was praying in a whisper. “I’m ready to go, Lord,” he said.

Seven minutes later, at 6:20 p.m. CDT, he was pronounced dead. Outside the prison, several dozen police officers stood at attention while the execution was carried out, their hands clasped in front of them.

Read the rest of the story below.

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The Texas 7 was a group of prisoners who escaped from the John Connally Unit, part of the Texas prison system, on December 13, 2000. They were apprehended January 21-23, 2001 as a direct result of the television show America’s Most Wanted. During their time out of prison, they murdered police officer Aubrey Hawkins in cold blood.

The gang consisted of the following prisoners: Joseph C. Garcia, Randy Ethan Halprin, Larry James Harper (deceased by suicide), Donald Keith Newbury, Patrick Henry Murphy, Jr., George Rivas (Ringleader) and Michael Anthony Rodriguez.

Most will remember this daring escape from a maximum security prison almost eight years ago. Seven hardened criminals on the lam. John Q. Citizen in danger should he stumble across any of this dangerous crew. A veteran police officer and wonderful family man, Aubrey Hawkins murdered on Christmas Eve, having left his dinner table to answer the emergency call regarding a robbery that unknown at the time, was being committed by the *Texas Seven*.

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Aubrey Hawkins – Photos




While all were found guilty (no … not counting the cowardly dude that killed himself) and sentenced to death, only Michael Rodriguez has “manned up” and accepted his punishment. He has made statements that one rarely sees, and I felt it warranted an acknowledgment of sorts.

Mr. Rodriguez is scheduled to die this Thursday, 14 August. He spent more than a year convincing authorities that he was competent enough to drop all appeals, and take his punishment.

Rodriguez was first sentenced to life in prison for hiring someone to kill his wife. He admits he fell in *lust* with a coed in San Antonio, and saw the death of his wife as his only option.

Today he states:

“My wife was a wonderful person and didn’t deserve this. I fell for a coed. It was stupid. I sit in my cell and think: How the heck did I get here?”

He admits to feeling exhilaration while hiding with the other six in the back of a stolen truck. He remembers the *thrill* of getting away with it. He recalls realizing they were now hunted throughout the country after the senseless murder of Officer Aubrey Hawkins …. that their faces were on posters, TV, everywhere they looked.

He remembers the late Peter Jennings (ABC) covering the story and showing their pictures. At that time he thought ‘Oh my God, Oh my God. Am I in trouble!’

It was more than six weeks before the seven were caught in a Colorado trailer park, the result of being profiled on America’s Most Wanted.

This week he embraces death. From his tiny cell at the Polunsky Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice he has stated:

“I’m just moving forward,”
“Look. I’m guilty of what they said — everything.”

To the families of his late wife Theresa, and the Hawkins family he says he wants them “to know how truly sorry I am and I am willing to pay.”

The following statement is what grabbed my attention.

“I think it’s a fair sentence, I need to pay back. I can’t pay back monetarily. This is the way. I have a lot of people here telling me how unfair the system is. At some point in our lives, you have to have some sort of accountability. I can’t see how people in my situation deny that.”

When I read that, my mind said WHAT!!!!!! So I read it again. And again. It was almost impossible for me to reconcile the thought of a criminal stating that, compared to all the guilty beyond any doubt criminals that tie up our courts with appeal after appeal, one sorry excuse after the other (ouch … the needle might hurt). The ones that have liberal, tree hugging criminal sympathizers proudly putting websites up for them … begging for mercy. By gosh, they don’t want to die!

My mind always goes toward the victims …. fairly good bet they didn’t want to die either, and they were not given any choice. The victim’s families, often forgotten, because we are so busy trying to not poke a needle in the perpetrators arm because they might feel a gnat thimbles worth of discomfort. Somehow along the way, many have allowed themselves to be brainwashed into feeling the criminal is a victim.

How refreshing to see Michael Rodriguez step up to the plate without any fanfare, any drama and make such statements. How often do you see someone in his situation do the right thing?

I have the deepest sympathy for the families involved … and for the first time, that includes the criminal’s family. I can say Michael Rodriguez, may God have mercy on your soul, and actually mean it.

Perhaps his legacy will be that he has set a shining example of what to do when you are guilty. The right thing, for all.




Photo source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, City of Irving