Convicted Killer in Texas KFC Massacre Denies Role

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ABILENE, Texas -- On one thing prosecutors and Romeo Pinkerton agree: The case of the murders of five people abducted from a Kilgore Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is far from closed.

Pinkerton's serving a life sentence for one of the most notorious mass murders in Texas, which Pinkerton insists he had no part in.

That didn't stop him from taking a plea deal a year and a half ago that sent him to prison for five life terms for the Sept. 23, 1983, murders. He tells The Associated Press in a prison interview that "the real killer is out there still walking around."

A spokesman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the case "is open and ongoing" as authorities hunt for at least one other man to join Pinkerton and a cousin, Darnell Hartsfield, in prison for the slayings.

Note: Hartsfield was tried and convicted of the crimes in a Brazos County court after a change of venue brought the trial to Bryan.

Pinkerton said he took the plea deal midway through his 2007 trial because he felt his life was in jeopardy while he was locked up in the Bowie County Jail. That's where his trial was moved because of publicity closer to Kilgore.

Pinkerton had faced a possible death sentence if convicted of 5 capital murder charges.

DNA evidence shows a third person was involved in the fatal attacks and raped one of the slain women. But that person's identity remains unknown.

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