Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 19, 2014

Lake searched for weapons in DA’s killing

By Nomaan Merchant
Associated Press

— DALLAS — A dive team is searching a North Texas lake for weapons related to last year’s slayings of the Kaufman County district attorney, his chief deputy and his wife, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, acting on a tip, was searching Lake Tawakoni for evidence in the case, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.

Spokesmen for the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a search, but declined to say if it was linked to the case.

Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams and his wife, Kim, face capital murder charges in the deaths last year of District Attorney Mike McLelland; his wife, Cynthia; and prosecutor Mark Hasse.

Authorities are still building the case against the couple, who are scheduled for trial later this year. They have not yet found the weapon used in the killings.

While investigators said they found several weapons in a storage locker used by Eric Williams, testing has not definitively linked the weapons to the shootings. Investigators said they did locate a Ford Crown Victoria that matches security video of a car in the McLellands’ neighborhood the day they were killed.

The McLellands were found shot dead in their home last March, about two months after Hasse was gunned down outside the local courthouse.

Mike McLelland and Hasse successfully prosecuted Eric Williams on charges that he stole three county-owned computer monitors from an office building. The conviction cost Williams his job and law license, in a situation that Williams would call a “tragic misunderstanding that has taken my livelihood and reputation.”

According to an arrest warrant, authorities have traced emails to a computer in Williams’ home in which the author confessed to killing all three people. Williams also faces a charge of making a terroristic threat in connection with those emails.

According to documents filed by authorities, Kim Williams confessed to the killings and identified her husband as the shooter.

WFAA-TV first reported Wednesday’s search of Lake Tawakoni.

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