DALLAS (AP) -- It will be up to a jury to decide whether the leader of a gang of escaped convicts convicted of killing a policeman during a Christmas Eve holdup should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.
George Rivas was found guilty of capital murder Tuesday in the slaying of Officer Aubrey Hawkins, who was shot and run over with a car during the robbery of a sporting goods store in Irving, Texas. Testimony in the sentencing phase was set to start Wednesday.
Rivas was serving a life sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping when he and six others escaped from the Connally Unit in Kenedy, Texas, on Dec. 13.
The escapees led authorities on a six-week manhunt, living for about a month in a trailer park in Colorado. They were captured after a neighbor recognized them from broadcasts of TV's "America's Most Wanted."
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