Latest twist in Kaufman County slayings: Wife of former Justice of the Peace charged with capital murder
UPDATE: At 12:15 p.m., Kaufman County officials confirmed that Kim Williams has been charged in connection with the murders of Mark Hasse, Mike McLelland and Cynthia McLelland. Williams 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.
Early this morning, Kim Williams was booked in the Kaufman County jail on capital murder charges. She is being held on a $10 million bond. Her husband, former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, was previously the prime suspect in the slayings of district attorneys Mark Hasse and Mike McLelland and McLelland's wife, Cynthia.
Lt. Justin Lewis, Kaufman County sheriff's office spokesman, held a press conference at 12:15 p.m. outside the jail. Lewis declined to answer any questions about the investigation "out of respect for the victims' families." Another public briefing on the case is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
The case has captivated the nation since Jan. 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.