After second service, Kaufman DA, wife, are buried

Posted Friday, Apr. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Again, one flag-draped coffin. Again, the smiling portrait of a loving couple.

And again, ranks of uniformed law enforcement officers standing at attention as the coffin was carried from a church.

On Friday, family, friends and dozens of law officers gathered for a second funeral service for Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, who were gunned down in their home near Forney last Saturday.

After the service at First Baptist Church of Wortham, Mike McLelland's hometown where his mother lives, the couple was buried in the small-town cemetery.

On Thursday, the Kaufman County Courthouse closed early so workers could attend a service at First Baptist Church of Sunnyvale in Mesquite. Gov. Rick Perry was among the dignitaries attending.

The courthouse reopened Friday, officials said.

The McLellands were found dead less than two months after Assistant District Attorneys Mark Hasse, 57, was gunned down outside the Kaufman County Courthouse.

Lt. Justin Lewis, a spokesman for the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department, said investigators had no major announcements about the case Friday.

Second arrest

Authorities announced late Thursday that a second man accused of threatening county officials had been arrested. Robert Allan Miller, 52, of Terrell remained in the Kaufman County Jail on Friday with bail set at $1 million, Lewis said.

WFAA/Channel 8 reported that in a Facebook post, which authorities believe was written by Miller, he said that he "expect[s] that Assistant District Attorney Daniel Floyd will soon perish, bringing closure to an era of unacceptable practices and allowing Kaufman County residents to move forward with liberty and justice."

The post said that local defendants are not given their day in court in Kaufman County and "actual guilt or innocence does not concern" county prosecutors.

A statement from the Sheriff's Department on Friday said that while investigating the shooting, "a threat against the safety of an assistant district attorney was posted on a news website via Mr. Miller's Facebook page. That threat was investigated, leading to the arrest of Mr. Miller at his residence."

"No specific details of this investigation and arrest will be discussed at this time," the statement said.

The sheriff's statement said, "There is nothing to link Mr. Miller to the investigations of the murders of Mike and Cynthia McLelland or Mark Hasse."

Another man from Terrell, Nick Morale, was arrested earlier in the week, accused of making threats against an official on the local Crime Stoppers tip line.

Lewis said Morale also turned out not to be a suspect in the shootings. He also is held on $1 million bail.

Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace in Kaufman, has said he was questioned in the case and volunteered to take gunshot residue tests and turned over his phone. Lewis declined to answer questions about Williams earlier this week.

"Investigators are receiving tips on a consistent basis, and all of those tips are being investigated thoroughly," the statement said.

A $200,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the killer's conviction, and the National District Attorneys Association was attempting to increase the amount of the reward Friday through donations.

"We hope to increase the reward to a level where someone will choose to come forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the killings of these three fine people," said Michael Wright, president of the Alexandria, Va.-based association.

Pictures of the McLellands and Hasse, along with information about the tip line, have gone up on billboards in North Texas, and more were expected to go up soon on space donated by members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas.

This week, prosecutor Brandi Fernandez was named interim Kaufman County district attorney. Perry is to appoint a replacement to serve out McLelland's term.

Fernandez and other county officials are being guarded around the clock.

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