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Two more Texas fugitives will contest extradition

Joseph Garcia's attorney, Ann Kaufman, called Texas
Joseph Garcia's attorney, Ann Kaufman, called Texas "a killing fields"  

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colorado (CNN) -- Two more of the six Texas fugitives captured here after leading authorities on a six-week chase decided Friday not to waive their right to a hearing on extradition to Texas, where they likely will face charges of escape and capital murder.

Randy Halprin and Joseph Garcia appeared in Teller County Court in separate, brief hearings.

It's possible all of the men will face the death penalty in Texas for their alleged involvement in the Christmas Eve shooting death of an Irving, Texas, police officer during a robbery at a sporting goods store.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice report on the December 13 prison escape


Garcia's lawyer said her client wants time to review the governor's warrant and other extradition paperwork before deciding to contest the move, and with just cause.

"I think any living, thinking, breathing person in the United States ... knows what the death penalty record is in Texas, it's a killing fields, it's been a killing fields for a number of years," said attorney Ann Kaufman. "It's a state that as a criminal defense lawyer and a responsible citizen, a person is worried, and concerned about people being sure that their rights are fully afforded to them by the court system in Texas."

Randy Halprin was one of four fugitives arrested on Monday
Randy Halprin was one of four fugitives arrested on Monday  

Thursday, Michael Rodriguez, another member of the group that escaped from a maximum security prison in Texas December 13, also declined to waive the extradition hearing. But the group's reputed ringleader, George Rivas, did waive the hearing, and is due to be returned to Texas before February 5.

Two other members of the group, Patrick Murphy, Jr., 39, and Donald Newbury, 38, have a hearing scheduled for Monday in El Paso County.

Four of the men were arrested Monday. Rivas, 30, Garcia, 29, Rodriguez, 38, and Halprin, 23, were captured outside a convenience store near an RV park in Woodland Park where they had been living. Larry Harper shot and killed himself as police surrounded his camper at the park, authorities said.

Murphy and Newbury were taken into custody Wednesday after police found them at a hotel in Colorado Springs.

The seven broke out of the Connally Unit in Kenedy, Texas, December 13 after overpowering guards and taking their weapons. They had been serving time for a variety of crimes, including murder, rape, child abuse and kidnapping.

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Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Dallas - FBI's Most Wanted
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

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