Monday, June 17, 2013

Texas executed man responsible for 5 killings

The 14th Execution of 2013

Elroy Chester, a man who confessed to killing five people during a six-month crime spree in southeastern Texas 15 years ago, was put to death on June 12, 2013 for the fatal shooting of a firefighter, reported CBS News.

Chester said that he didn't want relatives of his victims to have "hate in your heart for me."

Chester said he confessed to killing firefighter Willie Ryman III because "you should know who killed your loved one."

"Don't hate me. I'm sorry for taking your loved one," Chester said. "Elroy Chester wasn't a bad man, I don't care what anybody says. A lot of people say I didn't commit those murders. I really did it."

Moments later, Chester told the warden to proceed with the execution and began humming what sounded like a church hymn. He then took several deep breaths, yawned and began snoring as the lethal drug took effect.

Chester was pronounced dead Wednesday at 7:04 p.m. CDT, 27 minutes after the lethal drug was administered.

Ryman, a decorated Port Arthur firefighter, was killed in February 1998 when he interrupted Chester as he sexually assaulted Ryman's two teenage nieces during a break-in at their home. Chester, who was on probation at the time, was arrested soon after and subsequently pleaded guilty to killing the 38-year-old firefighter.

DNA evidence tied Chester to the rapes. Ballistics tests matched his gun to the slayings of Ryman and four others. The gun was stolen in one of 25 burglaries in Port Arthur attributed to Chester.

A jury deliberated 12 minutes before deciding Chester should be put to death.

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