Monday, April 1, 2013

District attorney, wife shot to death in Texas county where assistant DA was killed, police say

Mike McLelland, the Kaufman County District Attorney, and his wife Cynthia were found shot to death inside their home Saturday. The brutal double-murder comes nearly two months after his assistant was killed on his way to work. NBC's Mark Schnyder reports.

By Frank Heinz,

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot to death inside their Forney home Saturday, nearly two months to the day after his top assistant was gunned down on his way to work earlier this year.

Kaufman County Sheriff's Department investigators confirmed the deaths to NBC 5 Saturday evening, but had little else to say in the early stages of the investigation.

See original report at

One source close to the probe said the top prosecutor and his wife were found by a concerned relative or close friend who had gone to the house about 4 p.m. after being unable to reach them.

Other sources told NBC 5 that the McLelland's front door may have been kicked in and that gunshots had been fired, though police have not independently confirmed that information.

There was no immediate confirmed link between Saturday's murders and the Jan. 31 slaying of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, but it would be hard to not speculate on possible connections.? With that in mind, officials contacted all Kaufman County officials to ensure their safety Saturday. One former Kaufman County prosecutor was "in hiding" Saturday evening and said others were as well.

While police officers are frequently the target of violence while trying to apprehend criminals, attacks on prosecutors are extremely rare though not unheard of.? McLelland said as much in January when speaking about his slain friend when he said Hasse was aware of the dangers associated with being a prosecutor.

Kaufman County

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland

At the time, he described Hasse as a really, really good man that was an excellent friend and a spectacular prosecutor who wouldn't be easily replaced. He also vowed to catch Hasse's killers saying, "I hope that the people that did this are watching. Because we're very confident that we're going to?find you, pull you out of whatever hole you're in, bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."

FBI agents and Texas Rangers, who were still investigating the unsolved slaying of Hasse, are now leading the investigation into Saturday's murders, according to a federal law enforcement source.

McLelland and his wife, Cynthia Woodward McLelland, have five children including two daughters and three sons.? One of the sons is a Dallas police officer.

Investigators are expected to hold a news conference Sunday morning. ?More information is expected to be released at that time.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda and Scott Gordon contributed to this report.


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