Slain DA doubted county's capability, man says

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 Chris Heisler of Keller, who said he was speaking on behalf of "some" of the slain couple's adult children. It was not immediately clear whom Heisler was representing, and he declined to name the relatives he was speaking on behalf of.

"They are concerned not enough is being done," said Heisler, who heads The Honor Network, a nonprofit group that draws attention to people killed while serving the public. He spoke at a news conference at his home that was covered by most of the regional TV channels and CNN.

Hasse was killed Jan. 31 while walking to Kaufman County Courthouse 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.

Heisler said county enforcement authorities are too thin on the ground to provide security for local officials while investigating three homicides.

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

Heisler said that the McLelland survivors he was representing are not angry with law enforcement authorities in Kaufman County but that 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 at the news conference.

But he said that if federal agencies had become involved sooner, there may have not been more killings.

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 he added, "The guys that did this aren't worth 10 bucks."

Susan McFarland,


Twitter: @susanmcfarland1

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