In-depth coverage of the shootings in Kaufman County

Honor Flag Flies for McLelland

By Greg Janda
|  Monday, Apr 8, 2013  |  Updated 6:01 PM CDT
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For the second time this year the Honor Flag has been raised over the Kaufman County courthouse. Workers at the courthouse stopped briefly at midday Monday to honor District Atttorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia.

Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News

For the second time this year the Honor Flag has been raised over the Kaufman County courthouse. Workers at the courthouse stopped briefly at midday Monday to honor District Atttorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia.

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The U.S. Honor Flag was raised for the second time this year in Kaufman County.

This time, the flag honored Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, who was shot to death on March 30 in his Forney home. McLelland's wife, Cynthia, was also killed.

"Today the U.S. honor flag is here to celebrate the life and service of a great individual," said Chris Heisler, founder of the Honor Network.

The service to fly the flag began at noon Monday, with the flag remaining at the top of the flagpole outside the Kaufman County Courthouse for 24 hours. Organizers told NBC 5 that the flag would fly at full height because they believe McLelland would not have wanted it at half-staff.

In February, the flag was raised for Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, who was killed outside the Kaufman County courthouse in a shooting.

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McLelland Family Remembers Slain Couple

As the Honor Flag heads once again to Kaufman County, the family of Mike and Cynthia McLelland speak exclusively to NBC about the slain couple.

$200K Reward in Kaufman County Murders

New electronic billboards advertising a $200,000 reward for information in the Kaufman County murders of Mark Hasse and Mike and Cynthia McLelland have gone up around North Texas.
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McLelland is the first Honor Flag honoree who has previously handled the flag. He touched the flag during the ceremony for his friend and colleague Hasse.

Honor Network Founder Criticizes of Investigation

In a press conference at his home on Saturday, Heisler criticized the efforts of law enforcement investigating the killings of the McLellands and Hasse.

Heisler, saying he was speaking for Cynthia McLelland's family, said the family was angered and frustrated. He backed away from his remarks during the Honor Flag ceremony Monday.

"The frustration is, is that somebody, somewhere out there knows what happened. They know who did this," he said. "The frustration and anger is directed to those individuals. We need those individuals to come forward to bring justice to Kaufman."

"The message is of frustration not at all towards law enforcement or to those who are serving to protect the community of Kaufman or the county," Heisler said.

Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood said at the Honor Flag ceremony that there is no division and everyone stands in unity.

"There's everybody working together to pull forward to assist law enforcement in capturing the people, again, that are responsible," he said.

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In a statement about the comments Heisler made on Saturday, the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office said that members of Mike and Cynthia McLelland's family said his "self-description as a family spokesperson and his statement of the family's feelings are both inaccurate and unauthorized."

McLelland Family Remembers Slain DA

McLelland's mother, Wyvonne, said she remembers the conversations she had with her son.

The two spoke a few times a week. She said the family man loved his wife and his job dearly.

"He never hung up the phone and didn't say 'I love you,'" Wyvonne McLelland said, choking back the years. "He was a great son, never any trouble. He just liked what he did."

McLelland said her son always did what he set his mind to. Ever since the murder of his best friend and top prosecutor, Hasse, he was set on finding the killer.

"This is the bad thing, he meant to end this. Mark was one of his best friends. He was going to end this," she said.

NBC News had an extended interview with the McLelland family on "Today."

Investigations Continues, Public Assistance Wanted

The investigations into the murders of both top Kaufman County prosecutors continue with no arrests.

Sheriffs and other law enforcement in the area have said very little about either investigation. Authorities have set up a tip line at 877-847-7522 and a billboard campaign to get the public involved in sharing information.

There is a reward for information leading to an arrest in the McLelland case. The fund, which includes money from the governor's office, has reached $200,000.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda and Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.

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