John B. Connally Unit

Coordinates: 28°46′30″N 97°50′04″W / 28.77500°N 97.83444°W / 28.77500; -97.83444
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John B. Connally Unit
John B. Connally Unit is located in Texas
John B. Connally Unit
Location in Texas
Location899 FM 632
Kenedy, Texas postal address
Coordinates28°46′30″N 97°50′04″W / 28.77500°N 97.83444°W / 28.77500; -97.83444
Security classG1-G5, Administrative Segregation
OpenedJuly 1995
Managed byTDCJ Correctional Institutions Division
WardenPhonso Rayford
CountyKarnes County

The John B. Connally Unit is a maximum-security prison for males located in unincorporated Karnes County, Texas, United States.[1] It is located on Farm to Market Road 632, just east of U.S. Highway 181 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the city of Kenedy,[2] and southeast of San Antonio.[3] The prison, with about 813 acres (329 ha) of space, is operated by the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, administered as within Region IV.[2] The unit is named for former Governor and United States Treasury Secretary John B. Connally, Jr.


The prison opened in July 1995.[2] 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.[4]

Notable inmates[edit]

  • The Texas Seven, who escaped in December 2000, and caused the death of Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins during a robbery.[4] One of them committed suicide while on the run; the others were recaptured, tried, and convicted of the Hawkins murder, all being sentenced to death. As of December 2018, the two surviving members of the seven are incarcerated in the Allan B. Polunsky Unit.
    • Joseph C. Garcia (executed December 4, 2018)[5]
    • Randy Ethan Halprin[6]
    • Larry James Harper (committed suicide while on the run)
    • Patrick Henry Murphy, Jr.[7]
    • Donald Keith Newbury (executed February 2, 2015)
    • George Rivas (ringleader, executed February 29, 2012)
    • Michael Anthony Rodriguez (declined appeals beyond mandatory, executed August 14, 2008)
  • Carlton Dotson,[8] former Baylor Bears basketball player who pleaded guilty to the murder of Patrick Dennehy, his teammate
  • Bernie Tiede, mortician and convicted murderer who was the subject of the 2011 film Bernie
  • Raymond Ayala, Houston, Texas rapper better known as “Lil Bing”, convicted murder and rapper
  • Dennis Wayne Hope


  1. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Karnes County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 27 (PDF p. 28/38). Retrieved 2022-08-15. John B Connally Unit
  2. ^ a b c "Connally Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  3. ^ "Timeline of Texas Prison Escape." (Archive) City of Irving. Retrieved on March 27, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "The Escape." The Daring Escape of the Texas 7. Crime Library. Retrieved on July 23, 2010.
  5. ^ "Joseph Garcia Execution". Al Jazeera. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  6. ^ "Randy Ethan Halprin". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "Patrick Henry Murphy, Jr". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "Carlton Eric Dotson, Jr". The Texas Tribune. Archived from the original on April 6, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.

External links[edit]