2 escapees plead not guilty to murder in Texas - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

2 escapees plead not guilty to murder in Texas

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Two convicts whose escape from a work detail last year led to the death of a corrections officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to capital murder.

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Jerry Martin, 38, and John Ray Falk, 41, Walker County prosecutor Stephanie Stroud said.

Both inmates appeared separately during brief hearings at which prosecutors said they planned to try the pair together.

Corrections officer Susan Canfield, 59, died in September after the inmates broke away from a detail outside the Wynne Unit prison in Huntsville. Authorities say they stole a truck and rammed into her while she was on horseback.

The prisoners dumped the pickup about a mile away, then confronted a woman in a bank drive-through and took her car. Huntsville police then shot out a tire in that car, and the inmates ran away.

Falk was apprehended within an hour. Martin was caught hiding in a tree a few hours later. The next day, Martin tried to hang himself in his cell.

Martin had been locked up since 1997 on a 50-year term for attempted murder. Falk was serving life for a murder in 1986.

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