Texas 7 Member Wins Stay in Execution

More than a decade after being convicted of killing an Irving police officer, Donald Newbury won a stay from his execution.

A man has won a stay from his scheduled execution more than a decade after killing an Irving police officer.

Donald Newbury, one of the "Texas 7" fugitive gang, was scheduled to to be executed Feb. 1 for his part in the shooting death of Officer Aubrey Hawkins during a robbery.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia granted the stay Thursday.

"We expected that something like this may happen," Irving police spokesman Officer John Argumaniz said. "It often does happen, and being in the law enforcement field, we know that this is part of the process."

The group of escaped prisoners fatally shot Hawkins on Dec. 24, 2000. Newbury and six other inmates fled a South Texas prison 11 years ago in the state's biggest prison break.

George Rivas, the accused ringleader, is on death row with an execution date of Feb. 29.

Newbury's attorneys argued that he should be spared while justices consider an Arizona case that questions whether death row inmates are entitled to better legal help during initial appeals. The court already has heard arguments on that case.

Argumaniz said the Irving Police Department's legal adviser has been in contact with the Texas Attorney General's office. But for now, all they can do is wait, he said.

"It's my understand that there may be another case," Argumaniz said. "There is another case that is in front of the Supreme Court right now that needs to be reviewed, and I don't know how long that's going to take."

Hawkins' portrait hangs high inside the lobby of the Irving Police Department.

He was a police officer for a total of eight years and five months. He worked for the Kaufman Police Department and the St. Paul Medical Center Department of Public Safety before working in Irving for one year and three months.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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