News Column

Cops Keyed Up After DA Slaying in Texas

April 1, 2013

Security was tight Monday in Kaufman County, Texas, as officials search for the killer of the prosecutor and his wife two months after his assistant was slain.

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said he won't link the deaths of Michael and Cynthia McLelland Sunday to the slaying of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse in January, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Sunday.

Asked if McLelland, 63, was concerned about being a target, he didn't discuss it, Byrnes said.

"Not to me," Byrnes said Sunday, he didn't talk about it.

McLelland and his wife were killed two months to the day of when Hasse was shot and killed in a parking lot near the courthouse Jan. 31.

At a news conference Sunday, Byrnes said officers from various local law enforcement agencies would be at the courthouse Monday to provide extra security and that the prosecutor's office would be closed.

He wouldn't speculate on a motive for the McLelland killings nor whether they were related to the Hasse killing.

"We have nothing indicating that for sure," Byrnes said. "We are not going into any details because it's an ongoing investigation."

Byrnes said he and other authorities have taken in to consideration other Kaufman County officials might be targeted.

"Certainly, we're considering that, obviously," he said.

Deputies were called to the district attorney's home Saturday evening by a law enforcement friend who had stopped by to check on them, WFAA-TV, Dallas, said. Investigators told reporters the front door was open and the McLellands was found shot with what is believed to be an assault rifle.

Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood told CNN he believed there is a "strong connection" between the McLellands' deaths and the killing of Hasse.

"The folks who work in the courthouse, they've been through a lot," Wood said. "I've been trying to think of the right words to describe what we're going through. It's shock and disbelief."

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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