Kaufman County murder investigation zeroes in on former justice of the peace
The convoluted triple-murder case in Kaufman County appears to be winding its way toward a conclusion. Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace, has been arrested on a terroristic threat charge and is the prime suspect in the slayings of two district attorneys.
District attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia Woodward McLelland, were shot to death in their home on April 30. Their shooting follows the January 31 murder of assistant district attorney Mark Hasse outside the Kaufman County courthouse.
The case against Eric Williams appears much stronger than that of the two other men also arrested for threatening Kaufman County officials.
Authorities searched Williams' home Friday night, and he was booked into the county jail at 12:32 am April 13 on a $3 million bond.
Kaufman County released Williams' arrest warrant affidavit on April 15, showing that a threat of another attack came from a computer located in Williams' home on March 31 — a day after the McLellands were killed. The exact phrasing of the threat has not been disclosed, but it apparently included a list of demands and a violent ultimatum.
Williams has not been charged in connection to the murders, though the case against him appears much stronger than that of the two other men also arrested for threatening officials.
Williams was fired as the result of a corruption probe and levied a number of threats against public officials, including Hasse and McLelland, during the course of his trial and conviction for the theft of three computer monitors.
Police arrested Nick Morale, 56, on April 2 after he threatened an unnamed public official on the Crimestoppers tip line.
Robert Miller, 52, was arrested April 4 for making what was deemed a terroristic threat on Facebook. The bonds for Morale and Miller were set at $1 million.
Miller wrote, "There has been no mistake or coincidence concerning the murders of the two Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office officials," adding that another prosecutor "will soon perish, bringing closure to an era of unacceptable practices and allowing Kaufman County residents to move forward with liberty and justice."
The prosecutor Miller named is involved in his DWI case, which is pending.
Lt. Justin Lewis confirmed to CultureMap on Monday that all three men remain jailed in Kaufman County on terroristic threat charges.
Initial theories about a motive in the killings focused on white supremacist groups, but that line of inquiry appears all but closed at this point.
Through attorney David Sergi, Williams released a statement prior to his arrest asserting his lack of involvement in the Hasse and McLelland murders.
"He has cooperated with law enforcement and vigorously denies any and all allegations,"Sergi said. "He wishes simply to get on with his life and hopes that the perpetrators are brought to justice."
The Dallas Morning News reports that as of April 15, Sergi is no longer representing Williams.