Brazos County court date set in KFC slayings

HENDERSON, Texas (AP) - A capital murder trial will start next month for a man charged in connection to one of Texas' longest unsolved mass murders.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports Darnell Hartsfield is scheduled to go on trial on Sept. 15 in the 1983 murders of five people abducted from a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Kilgore.

The trial will be held at the 85th District Court in Brazos County. It was moved from Rusk County due to pre-trial publicity.

Hartsfield is charged with the murders of David Maxwell; Mary Tyler; Opie Ann Hughes; Joey Johnson and Monte Landers, who were found dead at the restaurant.

All but Landers worked at the restaurant about 25 miles east of Tyler and 115 miles east of Dallas.

Landers was a friend of Maxwell and Johnson and was visiting them as the restaurant was closing for the night.

Hartsfield's cousin, Romeo Pinkerton of Tyler, pleaded guilty in October to his role in the deaths of the five.

He received five life prison terms.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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