In-depth coverage of the shootings in Kaufman County

Found Weapon Linked to Mark Hasse Slaying: Official

By Nomaan Merchant
|  Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014  |  Updated 12:30 PM CDT
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Found Weapon Linked to Mark Hasse Slaying: Official

Kaufman County Sheriff's Department

Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, inset, over the scene of the shooting.

A dive team has recovered a weapon from a North Texas lake that authorities say was used in the fatal shooting of Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse, authorities said Wednesday.

Hasse was gunned down in January 2013 as he walked to the Kaufman County courthouse.

A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press a dive team found the weapon in Lake Tawakoni, 50 miles east of Dallas, earlier this year. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on the ongoing case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

NBC 5 reported in February that dive teams were searching the waters near Lake Tawakoni, with the search apparently centering on an area underneath a bridge.

Ultimately, two guns were found in the lake, concealed inside a black mask, the official told The Associated Press.

Two months after Hasse's killing, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot dead in their home.

Former county Justice of the Peace Eric Williams and his wife, Kim, face capital murder charges in the deaths of Hasse, the district attorney and his wife. The two are scheduled for trial later this year.

Authorities believe Eric Williams bore a grudge against McLelland and Hasse for successfully prosecuting him for stealing three county-owned computer monitors. That conviction would cost Williams his job as a justice of the peace and his law license.

While investigators have found several weapons in a storage locker used by Eric Williams, those weapons had not been linked by testing to the crime before the dive team's search.

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