Judge Dismisses KFC Murder Trial After Guilty Plea - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/30/07 - New Boston

Judge Dismisses KFC Murder Trial After Guilty Plea

The KFC murder trail of 1983 wrapped up Today, in New Boston. A day after Romeo Pinkerton pleaded guilty to 5 counts of murder, in the slayings of  Opie Hughes, Joey Johnson, David Maxwell, Mary Tyler and Monte Landers. They were all abducted from the Kilgore KFC during an apparent robbery and taken to a field, where they were shot execution-style.  

Today, the judge dismissed the murder case against Pinkerton, and KLTV 7's, LaKecia Shockley was in the courtroom as victim's family members reacted to the news.  

Jack Hughes says after 24 years of wondering who shot and killed his wife, Opie Hughes he finally has some answers. "It's one step closer. I think people need to be accountable for how they live," said Hughes. After Pinkerton's guilty plea, Judge Gossett dismissed the murder trial, but because there was no weapon found in the crime, Pinkerton could be eligible for parole in 15 years. "Without finding a deadly weapon, it reduces the time he would have to spend until he's eligible for parole. I'm eligible to win the lottery-- will I win the lottery? probably not," said Judge Gossett. As for the five victims families, they say they're satisfied that justice has been served. "I'm very satisfied with the job that the Attorney General's office has done. They have been relentless in this case of seeing that we got some justice," said Hughes.

 Today KLTV spoke to a spokesperson with KFC's corporate office, for their response to Pinkerton's guilty plea and they had this to say,"We're pleased that justice has finally been served and we hope the families can find some closure now."

The second suspect in this case, Darnell Hartsfield, is scheduled to go to trial sometime next summer.

LaKecia Shockley,reporting. lshockley@kltv.com 

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