John Falk Jr.

John Ray Falk

John Ray Falk Jr. was sentenced to die for his role in the murder of a correctional officer during an attempted escape from a Huntsville-area prison more than nine years ago.

An Angelina County jury deliberated for 28 minutes this morning before reaching a decision following closing arguments. Falk, who chose to represent himself, pleaded guilty to capital murder last Thursday for the slaying of Texas Department of Criminal Justice employee Susan Canfield of New Waverly.

The jury had the option to give Falk the death penalty or sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Falk and another inmate, Jerry Duane Martin, ran away from a work detail at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville on Sept. 24, 2007. Canfield was killed while trying to prevent the escape when her horse was struck by a stolen truck driven by Martin in the garage area of the city of Huntsville Service Center adjacent to the prison.

The inmates were apprehended that day a few miles from the prison.

Martin was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 2009 by a Leon County jury for Canfield’s murder. He was executed in 2013 after waiving his right to an appeal.

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