Prosecutor murder plot frightens tight-knit community
District Attorney Mike McLelland, wife Cynthia found dead
The murders of the two top prosecutors in Kaufman County are taken as a clear threat to law enforcement across Texas.
It’s a personal loss for the friends and neighbors of the prosecutors in the communities they called home and fought to protect.
Police said they found shell casings scattered near the bodies of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, after they were discovered at their home by a friend Saturday. Both were shot multiple times.
Friends gathered to pray together at the Kaufman County Courthouse Monday night. 72-year-old Martha Holden made it to the gathering even though she doesn't feel safe on the streets anymore.
“Everybody is scared to death cause whoever killed them is still out there somewhere. And could even show up tonight,” said Holden.
The murder of the McLellands comes two months after the Jan. 31 shooting death of Kaufman County assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse. Authorities said there are no suspects in either case.
“I couldn't think of anything else but 'God, what's going on?’” said Donald Kile.
Armed guards escorted county workers in and out of the courthouse on Monday. Meanwhile, county officials are being guarded around the clock.
After Hasse's murder, suspicion focused on members of a racist prison gang called the Aryan Brotherhood. However, investigators say there is no evidence tying the killings to gang members. Also, evidence does not yet link the murders of Hasse and the Mclellands.
The murder in a town where everyone seems to know each other has created a climate of fear. Some merchants around the town square now keep their doors locked.
“Because it's a small town, it puts everybody on edge. That's what my friends, that's how they feel,” said merchant Debbie Ray.
Holden said she thinks it will be long time before she feels safe again.
“Really, it's terribly frightening,” said Holden.