Kaufman County officials dispute man's claims about homicide investigations

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Saturday's statements by a Keller resident that some relatives of the slain Kaufman County district attorney and his wife were dissatisfied with the investigation into their deaths were "inaccurate and unauthorized," the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department said Monday.

Chris Heisler, who heads a group called The Honor Network, told news media that District Attorney Mike McLelland had doubts before his death that county officials could solve the Jan. 31 killing of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse and that some McLelland family members, whom he declined to name, were concerned that not enough was being done to solve the slayings of the McLellands.

Lt. Justin Lewis, a Kaufman County Sheriff's Department spokesman, issued a news release Monday that said officials had talked with family members who did not agree with Heisler's comments.

"While we appreciate and applaud Mr. Heisler's efforts to promote the honor and memory of this nation's fallen heroes and protectors, it must be remembered that Mr. Heisler is not a law enforcement officer and is not affiliated with the investigation into the deaths of Mike and Cynthia McLelland or Mark Hasse in any manner," Lewis said.

The deaths of the McLellands and Hasse are being investigated by the FBI and Texas Rangers as well as Kaufman County officials.

All of the agencies, Lewis said, are focused on "investigating the crimes committed -- nothing more, nothing less."

"We understand and empathize with the desire of those concerned about the investigation to receive updates and information," Lewis said. "Unfortunately, that desire not only lies with the media, the public and the family of Mike and Cynthia McLelland and of Mark Hasse. That desire also lies with the person(s) responsible for these murders and in those who would like to hinder the investigation."

Heisler made his comments at a news conference he arranged at his residence in Keller on Saturday.

He said that the McLelland survivors he represented believed more help should have been brought in earlier.

The investigators "are doing a great job, but there's not many of them," Heisler said.

If federal agencies had become involved sooner, there might not have not been more killings, he said.

Monday afternoon in Kaufman, Heisler said he wasn't being critical of investigators.

"The message is of frustration," he said, "not at all toward law enforcement, or to those who are serving to protect the community of Kaufman, or the county, or those in the United States.

"The frustration is that somebody, somewhere out there, knows what happened. They know who did this. The anger and frustration is directed toward those individuals. We need those individuals to come forward to bring justice to Kaufman."

Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.

Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698

Twitter: @fwhanna

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