Texas man executed for killing firefighter

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Convicted killer utters last words, 'Elroy Chester wasn't a bad man'

POSTED: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 7:26am
UPDATED: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 9:05am

HUNTSVILLE (KBMT) -- Convicted Port Arthur serial killer Elroy Chester was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. Wednesday in Huntsville, Texas at the Walls Prison Unit.

Seven victim witnesses were allowed to observe the execution. 12News Anchor Kevin Steele was among the media members who were witnesses. Erin DeLeon and Claire Howard, nieces of Willie Ryman III, stood at the front of the observation room as Chester pitched his head to the right to deliver chilling final words. Chester said, "I want you to know not to hate me in your heart. I want you to live your life and don't hate me. I'm sorry for taking your love. Elroy Chester wasn't a bad man I don't care what anybody says. Warden, you can go ahead now." He went on to say four final words, "I'll see you later."

Many of the assembled group of witnesses held hands and wept. Erin DeLeon stepped to the back of the room after Chester became motionless. Within 10 seconds of the lethal injection Chester breathed heavily, cocked his jaw open wide once, closed it, and then went motionless.

Chester was convicted in the February 1998 murder of Port Arthur Firefighter Willie Ryman, III. DeLeon and Howard were asked by Kevin Steele and an Associated Press reporter if they wanted their name withheld and they approved use of their names in news coverage.

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