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Convicted Texas Killer Goes On Trial For Escape Attempt That Left Guard Dead

John Ray Falk, Jr. (Prison photo)

John Ray Falk, Jr. (Prison photo)

BRYAN (November 25, 2012)—John Ray Falk, Jr., 45, a convicted killer who’s already serving a life prison term for murder, faces a possible death sentence for an escape attempt five years ago that left a Texas corrections officer dead.

Falk will be tried in Bryan, where opening statements and testimony are expected to begin Monday.

Corrections officer Susan Canfield was killed as Falk and fellow prisoner Jerry Martin broke away from an inmate work crew outside the Wynne Unit prison just north of Huntsville in September 2007.

Martin commandeered a truck and rammed it into Canfield, who was on horseback.

Martin was convicted three years ago in the same case and is now on death row.

Falk's trial was moved from Huntsville to Bryan.

Authorities say Falk and Martin were both working in a field along Interstate 45 when Canfield, 59, was overpowered and then run over with a stolen truck.

Authorities say one of the prisoners asked Canfield to hold what officials believe was a watch.

Canfield reached for the object and the struggle broke out.

Officials say one inmate took Canfield's weapon, while the other inmate grabbed another guard's gun.

The inmates then exchanged gunfire with officers before fleeing in the stolen truck and running over Canfield, who was on horseback.

The inmates dumped the stolen pickup, then confronted a woman in a bank drive-through in Huntsville and took her car.

By then, Huntsville police were in pursuit and shot out a tire in that car.

Falk was caught shortly after the two fled, and searchers using dogs, horses and a helicopter eventually found Martin hiding in a tree.

Canfield had been a corrections officer for seven years.

Martin was serving a 50-year sentence for attempted murder out of Collin County.

Falk was serving a life sentence for a Matagorda County murder.


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