AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ A Dec. 3 execution date has been set for Henry Lee Lucas, who once confessed to killing nearly 600 people.

State District Judge John Carter set the execution for the 1979 slaying of an unidentified female hitchhiker, who found strangled in a culvert off Interstate 35, north of Georgetown.

Lucas confessed to nearly 600 slayings before he began saying he had made up the confessions. He now acknowledges only one killing - the beating death of his mother in Tecumseh, Mich., in 1960.

The hitchhiker case is the only one for which Lucas has received the death penalty. He has been assessed six life terms, two 75-year sentences and one 60-year term for other Texas convictions.

Lucas still could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson said Wednesday. Lucas' attorney, Richard Alley of Fort Worth, didn't immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press.