Death Penalty

Eric Williams sentenced to death for Kaufman County murders

Eric Williams sentenced to death for Kaufman County murders

Former justice of the peace Eric Williams was sentenced to death by a jury in Rockwall County for killing Cynthia McLelland, wife of Kaufman County district attorney Mike McLelland.

Williams also has been charged, but has not yet been tried, in the deaths of her husband and assistant district attorney Mark Hasse.

It was the cold-blooded testimony of Williams' estranged wife, Kim, who described the murders in detail — including the "joy" and "excitement" the couple felt before and after executing the crimes — that likely helped the jury's decision.

She testified that she waited in the car while Eric Williams shot the McLellands, describing the murder of Cynthia as "collateral damage." The couple then went and had steak. The night before the killings, he tried on the outfit he planned to wear, including a bulletproof vest with "sheriff" on it, helmet and goggles.

Williams told her he wanted to shoot Hasse in the street, as if it were a scene from the movie Tombstone, while people were on their way to work.

She admitted her involvement as the driver, saying that her husband was the shooter. She testified because she said the families of the victims had suffered a terrible loss.

Williams was angry at McLelland and Hasse, who prosecuted him for stealing computer equipment from Kaufman County; he was convicted of burglary in 2012.

Hasse's mother read a statement to the court that said, "I hope you suffer in fear every day. … You are going to die and our family will be there to watch it happen."

Cynthia McLelland's daughter Christina Foreman said, "Pretty much the only thing I have to say is fuck you, Eric Williams."

Eric Williams
Convicted killer Eric Williams received the death penalty. Photo courtesy of Kaufman County sheriff's office