Ex-Texas County Official Faces Death Penalty In Triple Killing

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the capital murder trial of a former Texas county official accused of killing a district attorney, the DA’s wife and an assistant.

Eric and Kim Williams (Jail photos)

KAUFMAN (July 26, 2013)—Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, who’s charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, 63, and his wife Cynthia, 65, and slaying of McLelland’s assistant, Mark Hasse, 57.

Special prosecutor Bill Wirskye said during a court hearing Friday a decision has not been made about whether to seek the death penalty against Williams’ estranged wife Kim who’s also charged with capital murder in the killings.

Eric and Kim Williams are charged with three counts of capital murder.

Kim Williams has filed for divorce.

The McLellands were found dead on March 30, two months after Hasse was gunned down outside of the Kaufman County Courthouse on Jan. 31

Prosecutors allege Eric Williams was the gunman in both cases.

McLelland and Hasse had successfully prosecuted Williams for theft of county-owned monitors.

An affidavit filed for the arrest warrant for Kim Williams says the woman told investigators that she was involved in the shootings and that her husband was the gunman.

"Kim Williams described in detail her role along 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," the affidavit said.

She provided details of both killings that have not been made public, the affidavit said.

Kim Williams was the getaway driver when her husband approached Hasse as he walked into work and shot him to death, authorities said.

They contend she was a passenger in late March when her husband drove to the McLelland home in the Dallas suburb of Forney.

Eric Williams is held in lieu of $23 million bond.

His wife's bond is set at $10 million.

Mike McLelland grew up in Wortham and graduated from Wortham High School.

He was a University of Texas graduate who earned a master’s degree in psychology from Ball State University in Indiana and a law degree from the Texas Wesleyan Law School.

He retired from the Army as a major, worked as a clinical psychologist and then began his legal career, practicing privately in Dallas and Corpus Christi and as a public defender in Dallas.

He was elected district attorney in 2010.

Cynthia McLelland grew up in Oklahoma and in Highland Park, graduated from Austin College, earned a master’s degree in psychology from Texas Women’s University and a degree in nursing from Del Mar College.

She worked as a clinical psychologist before becoming a nurse.


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