The prison opened in July 1995. On December 13, 2000, the prison became infamous after seven inmates staged an elaborate breakout that was successful; this group later became known as the Texas Seven. During the subsequent crime spree, the seven fugitives killed a police officer in Irving. Six of the inmates were later recaptured in January 2001, while the seventh committed suicide before being captured; the six who were recaptured were sentenced to death.
Texas Seven, escaped in December 2000 and caused the death of Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins during a robbery. One of them committed suicide while on the run; the others were recaptured, tried, and convicted in the Hawkins murder, all being sentenced to death.
Joseph C. Garcia
Randy Ethan Halprin
Larry James Harper (committed suicide while on the run)
Patrick Henry Murphy, Jr.
Donald Keith Newbury
George Rivas (ringleader, executed February 29, 2012)
Michael Anthony Rodriguez (declined appeals beyond mandatory, executed August 14, 2008)