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Fired justice of the peace is charged with threat made after DA slayings; cops reportedly test guns

Posted Apr 15, 2013 7:24 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A fired justice of the peace who was questioned in the slayings of two Texas prosecutors is being held on $3 million bond on a charge of making a terroristic threat.

Eric Williams, 46, was jailed on Saturday, report the Dallas Morning News Crime Blog, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Daily Beast and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). He was prosecuted last year by District Attorney Mike McLelland and assistant DA Mark Hasse, the two prosecutors who were fatally shot in two separate incidents this year. McLelland’s wife, Cynthia, was also killed.

Police investigating the slayings have not identified Williams or anyone else as a suspect in the slayings.

Williams was convicted of theft for taking three of the county’s computer monitors in May 2011, and he is appealing the conviction. He was sentenced to probation and his law license was suspended. His lawyer has said Williams was using the computer equipment for his job.

According to the Dallas Morning News Crime Blog, police believe Williams is linked to an email threatening another attack if demands were not met. The email was sent on Easter, the day after the bodies of McLelland and his wife were discovered.

Police searched Williams’ home and a storage locker rented on his behalf, according to the Crime Blog. The blog says police seized 20 weapons and they are testing the guns that are the same caliber of those used in the killings. Authorities also seized a Ford Crown Victoria from the storage locker and are conducting forensic tests on the vehicle, the story says.

Williams’ lawyer, David Sergi, said in a statement on Friday that Williams "has cooperated with law enforcement and vigorously denies any and all allegations." Williams previously told NBCDFW.com that he cooperated when investigators approached him in a Denny’s parking lot on the evening the bodies were found. He reportedly submitted to gun residue tests and allowed a search of his cell phone at the time.

Williams told NBCDFW.com in the interview that he hopes investigators find whoever is responsible for “this incredibly egregious act.”

"If I was in their shoes, I would want to talk to me," he told the broadcast station. “In the investigators' minds, they want to check with me to do their process of elimination.”

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