Local 2 speaks with man questioned after Kaufman murders

District Attorney Mike McLelland, wife found shot to death inside home

KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas - It's been days since a Kaufman County district attorney and his wife were gunned down, but there have been no new updates from investigators.

With no real clues as to why or who did this, people in the state remain anxious.

County officials returned to work Tuesday morning under heavy guard. Most were personal friends of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.

McLelland and his wife were found shot to death in their home Saturday surrounded by rifle shell casings. Investigators have seized their cell phone records, and have been questioning people prosecuted by McLelland and Mark Hasse, who was gunned down two months ago.

According to federal sources, McLelland was shot at 20 times. Indicative of a grudge killing, his wife was shot once, contradicting earlier information contained in search warrant that she was also shot multiple times.

"There are literally hundreds of people working on this case," said Judge Wood. "And I feel like, don't know what time frame we're on. I'm confident they'll find whoever committed this crime."

One of the first people questioned about the murder of McLelland and his wife was Eric Williams.

Williams is a former Justice of the Peace who lost his job last year when he was convicted of burglary and theft by McLelland and Hasse.

"They called me Saturday evening. I don't recall the exact time," said Williams. "That was the first time I was notified anything had happened."

Williams said investigators asked him to meet them at a nearby restaurant.

"They did a gun residue test. I gave them my cell phone so they could get all the info they wanted," said Williams. "They gave them back on Sunday and I have not heard from them since Sunday."

"Has anyone connected with this investigation suggested to you that you are a person of interest in this investigation?" asked Local 2's Phil Archer.

"No," answered Williams.

Williams said he understands why prosecutors would want to talk to him. Williams was convicted in September 2012 of taking 3 computer monitors from a county building.

During his trial, Hasse told the jury, "He is dishonorable and this is unacceptable conduct from a public official."

After his conviction, McLelland told a local paper, "While we're not happy that he received probation, it was important to get him convicted and removed from the bench."

"Did you bear either of those men any kind of grudge?" asked Archer.

"No, absolutely not," answered Williams.

When Local 2 found Williams cruising his neighborhood on his Segway. he said like others here, he was shocked by the killings.

"My heartfelt condolences go out to both the McLelland family and the Hasse family and for some reason, they were not aware of, they paid the ultimate price for that," said Williams.

Judge David Lewis was in the McLelland's Sunday school class.

"I try to keep my staff reassured that we're going to keep going on and we're going to do the best we can," said Lewis. "All of the law enforcement people have confidence that they know what they're doing."

But as federal, state and local police continue to search for clues in the killings, they remain tight-lipped about what they've found.

A press conference announced Tuesday morning was abruptly canceled, and news crews were asked to leave the courthouse square.

"I'm not going to answer any questions about the investigation," said Lt. Justin Lewis.

Several police task forces are exploring potential motives, including a connection to the Aryan Brotherhood, a racist prison gang whose members McLelland helped prosecute, or drug cartels.

A major illegal drug route runs through Kaufman County, or the possibility the killings Saturday, and that of prosecutor Hasse two months ago, may have been the work of a lone killer harboring a grudge.

But friend of McLelland's, Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe said there's no way to tell yet who may have had a motive. That the answer is likely hidden somewhere in the district attorney's files

"I'm not discounting ability of AB or Mexican cartel to pull off these things, but I think you have to start without preconceived notions at where the people are that they made mad," said Lowe.

Investigators have been questioning prosecuted by both men, but so far have not named any suspects or confirmed any connection to the murders.

The investigation is leaving residents and officials on edge.

"Just worried, you know, about the next person that steps up there to that position," said Dorothy McPhearson. "Dangerous it sounds like now."

"Everybody should be worried about everything. I just pray for everything to be all right," said Lucille Malone.

Local 2 was told Tuesday to expect written updates from the Sheriff's Department on the investigation, but not when those might be coming.

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