In-depth coverage of the shootings in Kaufman County

Williams' Connection to Slain Prosecutors Dates Back Years

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Apr 15, 2013  |  Updated 8:51 PM CDT
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Texas authorities are working to build a case against a former justice of the peace prosecuted last year by the Kaufman County district attorney's office. DA Mike McLelland and ADA Mark Hasse handled a theft case against Eric Williams that resulted in him losing his job.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

Texas authorities are working to build a case against a former justice of the peace prosecuted last year by the Kaufman County district attorney's office. DA Mike McLelland and ADA Mark Hasse handled a theft case against Eric Williams that resulted in him losing his job.

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The former justice of peace who is jailed on a charge of making a terroristic threat had a history with slain Kaufman County prosecutors Mike McLelland and Mark Hasse.

After Hasse was shot to death Jan. 31 near the Kaufman County courthouse, McLelland told several friends that he suspected Eric Williams was the killer, Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood said Monday.

Wood said McLelland told him Williams could not be charged with the Hasse murder at the time because there was no physical evidence connecting Williams.

Wood said McLelland described Williams as a "narcissistic psychopath."

Williams was convicted in 2012 on theft of public property charges over claims that Williams stole computer equipment from his justice of the peace office.

McLelland and Hasse asked for a prison sentence, but Williams received two years of probation, lost his JP position and his license to practice law.

McLelland and his wife were found dead in their home on March 30.

Williams denied any involvement in the deaths.

"My heartfelt condolences go out to both the McLelland family and the Hasse family. They were in public office, doing the right thing, and, for some reason that we're not aware of, they paid the ultimate price for that," he said.

Williams said he was looking forward to a May hearing on his appeal of the theft conviction.

Then investigators searched Williams' home and a Seagoville storage unit that has not been directly linked to Williams over the weekend.

Investigators were seen removing an automobile from the storage unit similar to one reportedly seen near McLelland's home around the time of his death.

Williams was jailed Saturday on charges of making a terrorist threat and has not been charged in connection to the deaths.

Court records released Monday indicate that an email connected to a computer found in Williams' home was sent to Kaufman County shortly after McLelland's murder, threatening more harm to public officials.

Kaufman County attorney Wade Gent said he has spoken with Williams within the past six months about cases they dealt with as attorneys.

"I never had anything in my dealings with Mr. Williams that I have any complaints about," Gent said.

"Everyone here is just ready for this to be over with. We don't want any more killings. We don't want anybody else to be hurt. We're just all ready for this all to go away," he said.

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