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5th Circuit judge refuses to remove herself from Chester case
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- by Michael Graczyk
A federal appeals court judge has refused a request from lawyers for a convicted killer facing execution this week that she take herself off his case because she's biased against him.
Elroy Chester is set for lethal injection Wednesday evening for killing a Port Arthur firefighter 15 years ago. Chester confessed to five slayings and pleaded guilty to fatally shooting 38-year-old Willie Ryman III.
His lawyers say 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith Jones delivered a lecture earlier this year in Pennsylvania that indicated a bias. Jones Tuesday refused their motion that she remove herself from his case so another judge could look at it.
Jones was part of a majority ruling in 2011 rejecting an appeal that Chester was mentally impaired and ineligible for execution.