4
| Crime |

Craig Watkins and Toby Shook Damn the Judge Who Freed the Texas Seven's Getaway Car Provider

Raul Rodriguez
^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The very definition of "shock probation": Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins was shocked to find out that Raul Rodriguez -- who provided the Texas Seven with a getaway vehicle upon their escape from the John B. Connally Unit, shortly before they gunned down Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins on Christmas Eve 2000 -- has been released from prison after he served only five months of a 10-year sentence. Happened in July, matter of fact, courtesy Karnes County Judge Ron Carr, who freed the father of Michael Anthony Rodriguez without notifying the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. Says Craig Watkins today, the release is "a disgrace for us in Dallas County and throughout the state of Texas."

Says Lori Hawkins, wife of the slain officer: "The State of Texas has let me down again."

A jury gave Rodriguez 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine back in July 2003, but he didn't actual enter prison till February 2007, once he'd exhausted all of his appeals. And former Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Toby Shook, who led the office's prosecution of the Texas Seven, is as furious as Watkins: "I'm outraged at this process. The fact that Raul Rodriguez is walking around a free man is just highly offensive to the memory of Aubrey Hawkins." The judge has yet to speak about Rodriguez's release.

Also, there appears to be a British-made documentary about the Texas Seven making the rounds. --Robert Wilonsky

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.