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Chester case moved to new Fifth Circuit panel; execution delay possible
HUNTSVILLE (AP) -- by Michael Graczyk
A federal appeals court judge's law school lecture earlier this year at the University of Pennsylvania may result in a reprieve for a convicted Texas killer set to die in Huntsville.
Attorneys for 44-year-old Elroy Chester convinced a three-judge panel at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to move his case Tuesday to a new panel. They argued that a judge who ruled earlier in his case, Edith Jones, showed her bias against Chester when she talked about his case at the law school.
Jones was in a 2-1 majority in 2011 that determined Chester wasn't mentally impaired and was therefore eligible for execution.
Chester faces execution for the 1998 shooting death of a Port Arthur firefighter. Willie Ryman III is one of five people Chester confessed to killing.