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Kaufman County D.A. & Wife Found Dead In Home

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Last Updated: March 31, 2013 8:05 PM

KAUFMAN (AP/CBSDFW.COM) – Two months after an assistant prosecutor was gunned down, the bodies of a North Texas prosecutor and his wife were found in their home, authorities said. Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found killed in their home on Saturday, said Lt. Justin Lewis with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department.

The Kaufman County sheriff held a press conference Sunday afternoon (video below).

“Everybody’s a little on edge and a little shocked,” Forney Mayor Darren Rozell told The Associated Press on Sunday afternoon. “It appears this was not a random act.”

Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death in a parking lot just a block away from his office on January 31. No arrests have been made in his death.

Lewis declined to say how the couple died or whether authorities believe that their deaths are linked to Hasse. Police, FBI agents, Texas Rangers and deputies are all part of the investigation.

Rozell said that the most shocking part of the attack is that it occurred at McLelland’s home, in an unincorporated area just outside of Forney, which has 15,000 residents within the city limits and about 40,000 more nearby. Kaufman County is 33 miles southeast of Dallas.

Mikel and Cynthia McLelland (Photo courtesy of The Kaufman Herald)

Mike and Cynthia McLelland (credit: The Kaufman Herald)

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh told The Dallas Morning News that the McLellands were shot in their home, and although investigators didn’t know if their deaths were related to Hasse’s killing, they couldn’t discount it. “It was a shock with Mark Hasse,” Aulbaugh told the newspaper, “and now you can just imagine the double shock and until we know what happened, I really can’t confirm that it’s related but you always have to assume until it’s proven otherwise.”

Sam Rosander, who lives in the same unincorporated area of Kaufman County, told The Associated Press on Saturday that deputies were parked in the district attorney’s driveway for about a month after Hasse was killed.

Aulbaugh had said that the FBI was checking to see if Hasse’s killing could be related to the March 19 killing of Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements, who was gunned down after answering the doorbell at his home. Evan Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist who authorities believe killed Clements and a pizza deliveryman two days earlier, was killed in a March 21 shootout with Texas deputies, about 100 miles from Kaufman.

Hasse was the chief of the organized crime unit when he was an assistant prosecutor in Dallas County in the 1980s, and he handled similar cases in Kaufman County. “Anything anybody can think of, we’re looking through,” McLelland said after Hasse’s death.

Flags were lowered to half-staff at the Kaufman Co Sheriff's office on Sunday (Photo LP Phillips, KRLD)

Flags were lowered to half-staff at the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday. (credit: L.P. Phillips/KRLD)

McLelland graduated from the University of Texas before a 23-year career in the Army, according to the website for the district attorney’s office. He later earned his law degree from the Texas Wesleyan School of Law. He and his wife have two daughters and three sons. One son is a police officer in Dallas.

McLelland and his wife moved into the home within the past few years, Rozell said. “Real friendly, became a part of our community quickly,” Rozell added. “They were a really pleasant, happy couple.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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