- Fired justice of peace charged with capital murder in deaths of Texas prosecutors, bail set at $23M
Fired justice of peace charged with capital murder in deaths of Texas prosecutors, bail set at $23M
Posted Apr 18, 2013 2:32 PM CST
By Martha Neil
A fired former justice of the peace in Kaufman County, Texas, has been charged with capital murder in the recent slayings of county prosecutor Mark Hasse, county district attorney Mike McLelland and McLelland's wife, Cynthia.
Eric Lyle Williams was arrested Thursday and is being held in lieu of $23 million bail, CNN reports. His wife, Kim Lene Williams, was charged with capital murder yesterday and is being held in lieu of $10 million bail.
Kim Williams reportedly confessed to authorities that her husband shot all three of the victims. Hasse and McLelland had helped prosecute a theft case against Eric Williams last year, after he was seen on surveillance tape leaving a county building with computer equipment. The prosecution in that case contended he had made death threats against a lawyer and a former girlfriend, CBS News recounts.
As a result of his conviction in the computer-theft case, Eric Williams lost his job and his law license. He received a sentence of two years probation in the criminal case. A state appellate court agreed to hear oral arguments in Williams' appeal of his conviction at almost the same time authorities found the McLellands' bodies.
When questioned by CBS News reporters earlier this month, the article continues, Williams denied he had any involvement in the slayings.
“My heart goes out to all the families that have been affected by this tragedy, and especially the people that work at the courthouse,” Williams said.
He formerly worked as a police officer and had a family law practice before working as a justice of the peace.
Authorities said that Kim Williams served as the getaway driver when her husband shot Hasse to death in January and was a passenger in her husband's vehicle when he drove to the McLellands' home at the end of March and shot them to death, USA Today reports.
Kim Williams' arrest warrant provides additional details.
ABAJournal.com: "Fired justice of the peace is charged with threat made after DA slayings; cops reportedly test guns"
ABAJournal.com: "Wife of fired justice of the peace is charged with capital murder in Texas prosecutor slayings"