Pinkerton Pleads Guilty to KFC Killings

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HENDERSON, Texas (AP) - A convicted burglar pleaded guilty to the deaths of five people abducted from a fast-food restaurant in East Texas.

The case known as the KFC slayings became one of Texas' most notorious and longest-unsolved mass murder cases.

Forty-nine-year-old Romeo Pinkerton entered the plea Monday as part of a deal offered by the Texas Attorney General's Office. In exchange for the plea, Pinkerton received a life sentence for each of the five deaths.

Judge J. Clay Gossett said in a brief release that the families of the victims approved the plea bargain.

Pinkerton is the first of two men to face trial in the September 1983 slayings.

He and his cousin, Darnell Hartsfield, were accused of abducting the victims during a holdup of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Kilgore. Hartsfield is expected to go on trial on the same charges sometime next year.

The victims were found dead the next morning along a remote oilfield road about 15 miles away in rural Rusk County.

Four of the victims worked at the KFC, about 25 miles east of Tyler and 115 miles east of Dallas. The fifth was a friend of one of the employees.