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Local News

April 16, 2013

Elroy Chester execution date moved to June

— The execution date for Port Arthur mass murderer Elroy Chester has been pushed back 60 days.

Chester was scheduled for execution April 24. His new date is June 12, Waylon Thompson, with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office, said.

Thompson said the reason for the delay was due to a paperwork issue. A new transfer order and death warrant have been issued and the Attorney General’s office as well as other parties involved are agreeable with.

Elroy Chester pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death in 1998 for the fatal shooting of Port Arthur firefighter Willie Ryman III. Ryman was killed when he tried to stop Chester from raping his two nieces.

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Elroy Chester in October, 2012. Lawyers for Chester say he is mentally impaired, making him ineligible for execution under U.S. Supreme Court guidelines. Prosecutors have argued that Chester was not mentally impaired.

Chester also confessed to killing at least four other people during a six-month crime spree in the Pear Ridge area of Port Arthur, according Port Arthur News archives.

The victims include: John Henry Sepeda, 78, killed during a burglary; Etta Mae Stallings, 87, in another burglary; Cheryl DeLeon, 40, whom he stalked and fatally beat with his gun as she arrived home from work; and Albert Bolden Jr., 35, who was his brother-in-law and was shot in the head. According to court documents, Chester told police he killed Bolden for beating his sister or for setting him up with a date with a woman who turned out to be a transvestite.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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