Official: Texas arrest not linked to DA's killing

Published On: Apr 03 2013 03:01:30 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 03 2013 06:56:27 PM CDT
KAUFMAN, Texas -

A man has been accused of making a terroristic threat in connection with the deaths of two Kaufman County prosecutors.

The mood in Kaufman, Texas, which is about 30 miles southeast of Dallas, has been tense while public officials are under guard around the clock following the slayings of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, and the district attorney's chief felony prosecutor, Mark Hasse.

The McLellands were shot to death in their home in Forney, Texas, on Saturday. Hasse was killed outside the county courthouse about two months ago.

With the community on edge, some people appear to be deliberately trying to crank up the fear factor.

Nick Morale, 56, was arrested at his home in Terrell, Texas, on Tuesday. He has been accused of calling the Kaufman County Crime Stoppers line and saying that a specific county official would be the next victim. He has been charged with making a terroristic threat and was jailed with bond set at $1 million.

Officials said there is no evidence tying Morale to the slaying.

"All threats will be taken seriously, investigated and prosecuted," said Lt. Justin Lewis of the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office.

One of those threats involves a Facebook entry posted Monday that predicts the death of another assistant district attorney. The entry was a long rant that read, in part: "I expect that (KPRC is not naming the assistant district attorney) will soon perish, bringing closure to an era of unacceptable practices."

The name signed on the post was Bob Miller. The profile did not list any friends, but whomever set up the profile did "like" several newspapers and television stations.

At a news conference on Tuesday, detectives said they don't have any suspects in the slayings.

According to sources, after Hasse was killed, McLelland went to the hospital and told friends that Eric Williams was the prime suspect. Williams is a former justice of the peace who lost his job after he was prosecuted by McLelland and Hasse on charges of burglary and theft. Williams was convicted.

Williams was the first person questioned after the McLellands were killed.

"They did a gun residue test," Williams said. "I gave them my cellphone so they could get all the info they wanted."

Williams said he did not have a grudge against Hasse or McLelland.

Williams said he is cooperating with the investigation and his heart goes out to the victims.

Hundreds of federal, state and local investigators have been going through files at the District Attorney's Office to see if they can find anyone who may have wanted to hurt the prosecutors.

The McLellands will be laid to rest on Thursday.