Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Daring Escape of the
Texas 7


Joseph Garcia (Texas Department of Criminal Justice)
Joseph Garcia (Texas
Department of Criminal

Joseph C. Garcia, 29 at the time of his escape, was born in San Antonio, Texas, on November 6, 1971, to a middle class family. According to court records, the 5'11" 198 pound Garcia had not been in serious trouble with the law and had only a few misdemeanor arrests, until February 1996. At that time the brown-haired, brown-eyed young man was only 24, and was married to a young woman.

Garcia, who had been employed as a maintenance worker at a San Antonio airport hangar, had a penchant for drinking after work and on his days off. On a chilly February night in 1996 Garcia, Miguel Luna, and another friend were on their way home after spending much of the day in a bar, drinking. Garcia was going to drop Luna off first, but Luna provided incorrect directions to his home and Garcia became lost in San Antonio. In their drunken state of mind, Garcia and Luna began arguing over Luna's terrible directions.

Soon the argument escalated to a physical altercation. Garcia pulled over and stopped the car, after which Luna attacked Garcia, grabbed the car keys and ran off down the street. Garcia chased after Luna, and pulled out a knife while he was running. When he caught up with Luna and tackled him in the courtyard of an apartment complex, he began stabbing him with the knife, repeatedly, according to witnesses.

"Die, motherfucker, die!" Garcia yelled as he continued to stab Luna.

A short time later Luna did just that, from the 19 stab wounds that Garcia had inflicted upon him, 16 of which were to Luna's chest and back. Garcia was subsequently arrested and charged with Luna's murder. He claimed he killed Luna in self-defense.

A jury convicted Garcia of Luna's murder, and the judge handed him a 50-year sentence in prison.