KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News is following the latest developments in the assassination of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. Late Saturday night, he and his wife were found murdered in their home near Forney. Their murders are the latest shock for the county and all of North Texas.
In January, McLelland’s head prosecutor Mark Hasse was murdered outside the courthouse in Kaufman. Investigators believe the double murder of McLelland and his wife is likely related to Hasse’s death, but there is no evidence to confirm that connection.
The FBI and the Texas Rangers are now leading the investigation into these crimes. But local law agencies from across the area and state, including the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals and the ATF are all assisting as well.
Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes spoke on Sunday afternoon about this latest crime. “We are actively pursuing this we’re working very hard to ensure the public safety of the county and I want to assure the citizens that we are doing and will continue to strive to do that.” said Byrnes.
There has been talk about an Aryan Brotherhood connection to the murders, but sources told CBS 11 News that this is highly unlikely. Officials have focused their attention on those who may have personal grudges against McLelland and Hasse. Those who the men prosecuted together could argue that their lives were ruined by the prosecutions. That list, according to sources, has been narrowed down to five or six people, but authorities do not yet have enough evidence to build a case.
Detectives have been seaching the home, hoping to find evidence that could help them track down the assassin. Investigators also went door-to-door in the neighborhood near Forney, looking for possible witnesses. Sources said that there were no signs of forced entry, and that the crime could have happened a night earlier, because the couple was dressed in sleeping attire. More than a dozen bullets were fired.
Following Hasse’s murder, the Sheriff’s Department added a deputy to watch the McLelland’s home in rural Kaufman County. But reports show that McLelland had the sheriff pull back the added security because he did not think that he needed it and did not want to waste taxpayer dollars.
Authorities are not taking chances anymore. Other county officials and prosecutors now have police protection.
Byrnes said that it was “unnerving” to have another public official murdered. “It’s unnerving to the law enforcement community, it’s unnerving to the community at large,” he said. “And that’s why we’re striving to assure the community that we still are providing public safety and will be able to do that.”
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