WFAA reporter Jason Whitely is a media witness to the execution of convicted
police killer and Texas 7 gang member George Rivas. Here are his dispatches
from Huntsville leading up to and immediately following the execution.
7:10p The lethal drugs took effect on George Rivas very quickly. He was
pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m., 10 minutes after the injection began.
7:09p We've now received the full text of George Rivas' final statement:
First of all, for the Aubrey Hawkins family, I do apologize for everything that
happened. Not because I am here, but for closure in your hearts. I really
believe you deserve that.
To my wife, Cheri. I am so grateful you’re in my life. I love you so dearly.
Thank you to my sister and dear friend, Katherine Cox, my son and my family.
Friends and family, I love you so dearly.
To my friends, all the guys on the row, you have my courtesy and respect.
Thank you to the people involved and the courtesy of the officers. I am
grateful for everything in my life. To my wife, take care of yourself, I will
be waiting for you. I love you, God bless.
I am ready to go.
7:07p Prior to his execution George Rivas told his new wife he loved her. "I am
grateful for everything in my life. I love you. God bless. I am ready to go."
Rivas was calm, smiling and appeared to be at peace with what was to follow.
6:31p Before being put to death, George Rivas said: "For Aubrey Hawkins'
family, I apologized for everything that happened ... not because I'm here, but
for closure in your hearts. I really believe you deserve that.
6:26p Texas 7 gang leader George Rivas was executed by lethal injection at 6:22
p.m. for the murder of Irving police Officer Aubrey Hawkins.
5:59p George Rivas will be strapped to a gurney, arms extended, and an IV for
the lethal injection will be inserted in both arms. Once He's strapped down,
the warden will call for witnesses to enter the 2 observation rooms.
5:58p Once witnesses are in place, guards will ask George Rivas if he wants to
make a final statement. He said he did. 5:48p Guards move George Rivas from his
holding cell, 15 feet to the execution chamber. The lethal injection procedure
is scheduled to begin a few minutes after 6 o'clock.
5:22p One of George Rivas' four witnesses did not appear for his execution.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins will attend instead.
5:03p 3 drugs are used in the lethal injection cocktail. That used to cost
about $86, but the price has recently skyrocketed to more than $1,300 because
the state has been forced to resort to a more expensive substitute for one of
the drugs being used.
5:01p "I met with him a few minutes ago along with the warden and the chaplain,
and Rivas stated that he's... all these years he's made it clear that he's
ready to go," said Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice. "He did say that he was going to make a last statement."
Rivas is said to have made several personal calls from a phone provided by the
prison, He asked five friends to witness his lethal injection.
4:50p More than 15 Irving police officers are standing outside the Walls Unit
where George Rivas will soon be executed for killing Irving Officer Aubrey
Hawkins on Christmas Eve 2000.
4:42p The widow of Irving police Officer Aubrey Hawkins, who was killed by
George Rivas, will not attend the execution. She told News 8 that she felt no
closure after being present at the last execution of a Texas 7 gang member in
4:40p George Rivas was served barbequeue chicken for his final meal, just like
the other inmates at the Walls Unit.
4:30p George Rivas' appeals have all been denied. Clemency is denied. The state
says attorneys for the convicted killer do not plan a last-minute challenge to
the scheduled 6 o'clock execution.
3:49p Texas no longer offers a special "last meal" to condemned inmates. At 4
o'clock, George Rivas will get the same meal the rest of the unit gets today.
2:48p WFAA photojournalist Taylor Lumsden is following five Irving Police
Department vehicles en route to Huntsville to witness the execution of George
12:47p Arriving at the Walls Unit, George Rivas goes to a holding cell 15 feet
away from the death chamber. He is alone and unrestrained and can use a phone.
12:45p George Rivas will be fingerprinted and given a new white uniform upon
arriving at the Walls unit following lunch for his scheduled 6 o'clock
11:50a Guards will soon move George Rivas from Death Row about 40 miles to the
Walls Unit for a scheduled 6 p.m. execution.
11:45a George Rivas spent this morning meeting with friends behind glass at
Texas Death Row.