A Dallas County jury sentenced a South Texas prison inmate to death on Monday for the slaying of an Irving police officer.

The jury deliberated for one hour before sentencing Donald Keith Newbury for the Christmas Eve 2000 murder of Officer Aubrey Hawkins.

There was no visible reaction from Newbury as the verdict was read.

He was the second of a gang of six violent prison inmates who escaped from the Connally Unit prison, near Kenedy, to be sentenced in the slaying, which happened when the gang robbed an Irving sporting goods store.

Confessed gang ringleader George Rivas was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death last August.

Jurors had the alternative of sentencing Newbury to life imprisonment for the crime.

Hawkins, 29, was killed when he was hit 11 times by bullets from five weapons. He also was run over by his squad car.

In closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Tom D'Amore said Newbury is a lifelong felon with no conscience or regard for human life.

"In this case, you have seven of the worst people in the penitentiary system, maybe in the world," D'Amore said.

However, defense attorneys asked for mercy and said Newbury never shot the officer or intended to kill him.

"A life sentence in this case is punishment," said defense attorney Doug Parks. He added, "Mr. Newbury is not the person who actually caused Officer Hawkins' death."

Newbury has confessed to firing three times during the barrage of gunfire that followed the holdup. He told police he fired at someone he thought to be a police officer, but turned out to be a fellow gang member. That man was not injured, but prosecutor Toby Shook said of the attempt, "That shows intent to kill."

"There's only one reason he fired at someone he thinks is a police officer," Shook said. "He wants him dead."

Prosecutors did not have to show that Newbury's bullet killed Hawkins. Under state law, anyone aiding or assisting in a capital crime also qualifies for the death penalty.

Newbury, a former member of a gang of seven escaped prison inmates, declined to testify.

He was serving his third jail sentence for armed robbery when he broke out of the Connally Unit with six other inmates on Dec. 13, 2000. Six were caught the next month in Colorado, the seventh killed himself rather than surrender.

Newbury had confessed to firing three times during the barrage of gunfire that followed the holdup. He told police he fired at someone he thought to be a police officer, but turned out to be a fellow gang member. That man was not injured, but prosecutor Toby Shook said of the attempt, "That shows intent to kill."

"There's only one reason he fired at someone he thinks is a police officer," Shook said. "He wants him dead."

Newbury declined to testify.

Prosecutors did not have to show that Newbury's bullet killed Hawkins. Under state law, anyone aiding or assisting in a capital crime also qualifies for the death penalty.

Newbury was serving his third jail sentence for armed robbery when he broke out of the Connally Unit with six other inmates on Dec. 13, 2000. Six were caught the next month in Colorado and the seventh killed himself rather than surrender.