By DANNY ROBBINS
KAUFMAN — A former justice of the peace and his wife were indicted on capital murder charges Thursday in the deaths of two North Texas prosecutors who were fatally shot earlier this year, one outside the local courthouse and the other inside his home with his wife.
Eric and Kim Williams were each indicted by a Kaufman County grand jury for the deaths of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, District Attorney Mike McLelland and McLelland’s wife, Cynthia.
The couple was arrested in April for what prosecutors allege was a meticulous plot to avenge Eric Williams’ conviction for stealing three county computer monitors in 2012.
The Williamses, who are both 46, have been in the county jail southeast of Dallas since their arrests. Eric Williams is being held on a $23 million bond, while his wife’s bond is $10 million. Capital murder charges can bring the death penalty in Texas.
Hasse was fatally shot as he walked to work in January, while the McLellands were gunned down in their home two months later.
Authorities allege that Eric Williams was the gunman in both cases. His wife, investigators say, was the driver when her husband shot Hasse on the street outside the county courthouse as he walked to work and that she was a passenger when her husband drove to the McLellands’ home to carry out those killings in March.
The arrest warrants describe a revenge plan in which Eric Williams rented a storage unit in a friend’s name to hide a cache of weapons and a car that authorities said was tied to the McLelland killings.
Authorities said they received emails in which the writer confessed to all three slayings and threatened more violence against county officials. The writer tried to hide his identity but investigators traced the emails to a computer in the Williams’ home, according to a warrant.
Eric Williams practiced law in Kaufman for more than a decade, specializing in family-related cases. He was elected to his judicial post in 2010, but he lost the $53,000-a-year position as well as his law license when he was convicted of stealing the computer monitors.
During the highly contentious trial, McLelland and Hasse portrayed Williams as a dishonest public official with a dangerous streak. At sentencing, they presented evidence indicating that Williams had made death threats against another local attorney and a former girlfriend.
Although the two prosecutors sought prison time for Williams, he ultimately received probation.
By DANNY ROBBINS
- Top News
Council, chamber at odds again over tourism funding
Some members of the Greenville City Council are prepared to take action this week to strip tourism funding from the Greenville Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau.
City making plans to buy new fire truck
The City of Greenville is about to buy a new fire truck, and thanks in large part to an anonymous donor, it will be paid for in cash.
County jobless rate dips again
The local unemployment rate dipped again in January, even though Hunt County lost more than 260 jobs to start the year.
Court reporter leading the way in preventing child abuse
Cher Perry is leading an initiative to end child sexual abuse in Hunt County.
Council expected to cancel Place 3 election
The Greenville City Council intends Tuesday to confirm Place 3 Council member Jeff Dailey has been re-elected.
Council set to hear from department heads
The Greenville City Council is continuing efforts to prepare next year’s city budget well in advance.
- Commerce man indicted for 10th felony offense
Carver hosts LP Waters students again due to odor
Students at LP Waters Early Childhood Center had classes at a different campus for the second time in two weeks, due to odor issues stemming from a sewage leak last week.
Operation Cold Spell freezes alleged drug rings
Almost two dozen individuals were arrested Thursday in Commerce after the Commerce Police Department — along with Texas A&M University-Commerce, Sulphur Springs Police Departments and Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office — conducted busts after a four-month-long investigation into drug rings in the city.
Severe drought over half of county
Despite another brush with ice and snow this week, portions of Hunt County remain listed under a severe drought.
- More Top News Headlines
- Council, chamber at odds again over tourism funding