Police: Wife says JP killed Kaufman County DA, spouse and prosecutor

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The wife of a former Kaufman County justice of the peace told authorities that her husband shot and killed Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife, Cynthia, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

In an interview Tuesday with an investigator, Kim Williams, 46, "confessed to her involvement to the scheme and course of conduct in the shooting deaths," according to the affidavit signed by Sgt. Matt Woodall of the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department.

The affidavit said "Kim Williams described in detail her role with that of her husband, Eric Williams, whom she reported to have shot to death Mark Hasse on January 31, 2013, and Michael and Cynthia McLelland on March 30, 2013."

Kim Williams also "gave details of both offenses which had not been made public," the affidavit said.

Kim Williams was booked into the Kaufman County Jail at 2:58 a.m. Wednesday. Her bond was set at $10 million.

Eric Lyle Williams remains in jail on a terroristic threat charge in connection with a threatening email sent March 31, the day after the McLellands were killed in their home near Forney.

The email threat said that "unless law enforcement officials responded to the demands of the writer, another attack would occur," according to his arrest warrant affidavit. The affidavit said Eric Williams used "unique identifiers" found at his home to send the message.

Eric Williams, 46, a 1985 graduate of Azle High School, also graduated from TCU and the Texas Wesleyan University law school. He was arrested Saturday and is being held on $3 million bond. He has not been charged with the slayings.

Eric Williams, while working as a justice of the peace in Kaufman County, was convicted last year of stealing county computers in a case prosecuted by McLelland and Hasse. As a result, he lost his peace officer's license and his law license was revoked.

He has appealed his theft conviction, and a day before the McLellands' bodies were found, a state appeals court in Dallas agreed to hear oral arguments in the case.

During the sentencing phase of Eric Williams' trial, Kim Williams testified in her husband’s defense. She said she suffers from several illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome. She said her husband is her sole caregiver as well as the caregiver for her two ailing parents.

"Eric is a loving man," she testified. "He wouldn't do anything to hurt anybody. I'm standing by him 100 percent."

Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood said Tuesday that McLelland was steadfast in his belief that Eric Williams was responsible for Hasse's death, something he reiterated on the Wednesday before he was killed.

"He thought that from Day One," Wood said. "He never wavered. ... He said he knew he did it, but he just couldn't get the evidence to prove he did it."

Both McLelland and Hasse began carrying handguns regularly after Williams' trial "because they believed Eric Williams to be a threat to their personal safety," according to Kim Williams' arrest affidavit.

Glenda Rand, a Kaufman native and owner of the Daisy’s clothing store on the town square, said on Tuesday that she has mixed feelings about the recent developments.

"But I don’t know how I feel that it might have been one of our own who did this," Rand said. "Could three people all be dead because someone stole a computer?"

Bill Hanna, (817) 390-7698

Twitter: @fwhanna

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