Family 'spokesman' claims slain Kaufman DA doubted county could find killer

Posted Saturday, Apr. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Talking to relatives before his death, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland purportedly expressed doubts that the county had the capability to catch Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse’s killer and to protect his staff, a self-described family spokesman said Saturday.

“Now we have two more dead people,” said Keller resident Chris Heisler, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of “some” of the slain couple’s adult children. It was not immediately clear who Heisler was representing, and he declined to name the relatives on whose behalf he was speaking.

“They are concerned not enough is being done,” said Heisler, who heads The Honor Network, a non-profit group that draws attention to people killed while serving the public.

His news conference drew most of the regional TV channels as well as CNN.

“They are eagerly upset, they are pissed off and want someone brought to justice,” he said of the relatives.

Hasse was killed Jan. 31 while walking to the courthouse in Kaufman by an unknown gunman who fled in a car. Mike McLelland, 63, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were shot in their rural home near Forney on March 30.

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes declined to comment on Heisler’s remarks, saying it would be inappropriate because he had not heard them in their full context, according to spokesman Lt. Justin Lewis.

Heisler said the McLelland survivors he was representing are not angry with law enforcement authorities in Kaufman County. They just believe more help should have been brought in earlier.

“They are doing a great job, but there’s not many of them,” he said during a news conference at his Tarrant County home. Had federal agencies gotten involved sooner, however, maybe there would not have been more killings, he said.

Mike and Cynthia McLelland had some protection initially “but obviously not round the clock,” Heisler said.

A $200,000 reward is being offered for tips leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible.

“I think that is insignificant,” he said of the amount, but then added: “The guys that did this aren’t worth 10 bucks.”

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