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Texas executes ringleader of "Texas Seven" gang

AUSTIN (Reuters) - A Texas man who confessed to being the ringleader of a ruthless band of murderers and rapists was executed on Wednesday, hours after Arizona put another man to death for killing his adoptive mother.

George Rivas, 41, was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. at a prison in Huntsville, Texas, state officials said.

Rivas was executed for his role in the "Texas Seven" gang's murder of police officer Aubrey Hawkins outside an Oshman's Superstore on Christmas Eve 2000 in Irving, next to Dallas.

Rivas was the confessed ringleader of the group, a band of convicted robbers, rapists and murderers who broke out of a maximum security prison in Karnes County, southeast of San Antonio on December 13, 2000. At the time, Rivas was serving 17 life sentences for several crimes including aggravated kidnapping, according to the Texas Attorney General's office.

Earlier on Wednesday, Arizona executed 63-year-old convicted murderer Robert Henry Moormann.

(Reporting By Karen Brooks; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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