Capital Murder Charges in Texas Prosecutor Deaths Bring Relief to Rural County

Relief is tempered with grief in Kaufman County, Tx., with news of arrests in the murders of District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife, Cynthia, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, reports the Dallas Morning News. Former justice of the peace Eric Williams and his wife Kim Williams, both 46, are jailed on capital murder charges. Authorities say Kim Williams confessed Tuesday and told them her husband was the shooter. Williams has declared his innocence.

Eric Williams was prosecuted by Mike McLelland and Hasse for stealing three county computer monitors. Authorities say the slayings were in retaliation for the prosecution after Eric Williams' was found guilty, removed from office and lost his law license and livelihood. McLelland’s replacement as district attorney, Erleigh Norville Wiley, said the arrests made her wonder, “Do you really know anybody? It is very disturbing that one of our elected officials could be involved in something so heinous. It's unbelievable.” For the first time in weeks or months people of Kaufman County feel at ease, said Katie Griffin, a court coordinator for the county. The slayings of the McLellands over Easter weekend, after Hasse's Jan. 31 murder, brought added security and fear to the mostly rural county of about 110,000 people. Elected officials and some employees had 24-hour security.

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