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BEAUMONT, Texas -- A Texas judge has set an April 24th execution date for a Jefferson County man convicted of killing a Port Arthur firefighter nearly 15 years ago.

Elroy Chester III pleaded guilty to the February 1998 fatal shooting of Willie Ryman III and a jury decided he should die. State District Judge John Stevens set the date Tuesday.

Ryman was fatally shot when he arrived at his sister s Port Arthur home during a robbery where his two teenage nieces also were raped.

Chester has been linked to at least five murders and three rapes. His attorneys contended he s mentally impaired and ineligible for execution. A divided federal appeals court a year ago upheld the sentence.

Chester is among at least eight Texas death row inmates with execution dates for 2013.

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