Crime News

Wife of former Kaufman County justice of the peace charged in district attorneys' murders

Wife of former JP charged in district attorneys' murders

UPDATE: As of Wednesday afternoon, Kim Williams, the wife of former justice of the peace Eric Williams, has confessed to her role in the murders of district attorneys Mark Hasse and Mike McLelland and McLelland's wife, Cynthia. Mrs. Williams says that her husband, Eric, was the shooter.

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Around 3 a.m. April 17, Kim Williams was booked in the Kaufman County jail, reportedly on capital murder charges. Her husband, Eric Williams, was previously the prime suspect in the slayings of district attorneys Mark Hasse and Mike McLelland and McLelland's wife, Cynthia. 

The Dallas Morning News reported early Wednesday morning that Kim Williams was charged with capital murder. Officials with the Kaufman County sheriff's office declined to confirm that information, and Mrs. Williams is no longer listed as an inmate in the jail's online database, though her husband is. Calls to Lt. Justin Lewis, sheriff's office spokesman, have not been returned. 

The case has captivated the nation since January 31, when Hasse was gunned down outside the Kaufman Courthouse on his way to work. The McLellands were killed in their home on March 30. 

Leads were scarce for months, and authorities focused mainly on white supremacist gangs, at one point even investigating Mexican drug cartels for possible motives. But it appears the real culprits were not gangsters but Kaufman County citizens with a grudge. 

Eric Williams is currently being held on a $3 million bond for making a terroristic threat, and there's talk he could be charged in the slayings as well. 

Williams was a justice of the peace in Kaufman when he was accused of stealing three computer monitors. Hasse and McLelland doggedly pursued the case against Williams, who was eventually convicted and lost his law license. He was on probation for the theft when the pair of district attorneys were killed. 

Authorities searched the Williams' home April 12, and he was booked into the county jail the next day on a $3 million bond.

Kaufman County released Eric 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.

In the Williams' storage unit in Seagoville, authorities reportedly found a large cache of weapons and a car matching a description to the getaway vehicle in the McLellands' murder. No other information on how the couple may have executed the murders has been released. 

Two other Kaufman residents have been charged with threatening officials in the wake of the slayings, though nothing appears to tie Nick Morale or Robert Miller to the Hasse and McLelland murders. Both are being held on $1 million bonds. 

What do you think of the charges against the Williams? Tell us in the comment section below.

Kaufman County Courthouse
Mark Hasse was shot outside the Kaufman County Courthouse on January 31, the first of three high-profile murders. texasancestors.com
Eric Williams
Eric Williams, 46, was arrested April 13 in Kaufman County for terrorism charges. Photo courtesy of Kaufman County sheriff's office