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Expert: Texas Prison Gangs Unlikely Involved In Kaufman County Killings

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) - Federal, state, and local investigators say they’re following up on all tips they received as they hunt for whoever killed Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and Assistant DA Mark Hasse.

At a news conference Wednesday, a spokesman was asked about an online post that another assistant district attorney was threatened.

Lieutenant Justin Lewis of the Kaufman County Sheriffs Department says, “I’m not going to discuss that.  It’s part of our on-going investigation.”

A source tells CBS-11 that people have been taken in for questioning in the murders, but that no one has been arrested directly involved in the cases.

Lewis wouldn’t elaborate saying, “The investigation is ongoing. There are many processes of an incentive and like I said because it’s ongoing, I’m not going to get into the specifics what we have done.”

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Meantime, court is back in session at the Kaufman County Courthouse, and the District Attorney’s office has re-opened.

The interim DA, Brandi Fernandez isn’t talking, but her office issued a statement saying, “…This is certainly a trying time for all of us both professionally as an office, and personally as friends and co-workers of Mr. McLelland and his wife…”

It’s been widely reported investigators have been looking into whether the prison gang Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is responsible for the three murders.

Last December, the Texas Department of Public Safety sent out a bulletin that the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas issued a threat against law enforcement.

But Terry Pelz, a former Texas prison warden, says he doesn’t believe that’s the case.

Pelz says, “All the prison gangs in Texas are known for threatening officials, myself included as the warden, I was threatened many times.  There’s a lot of bravado from prison gang members in Texas, but that’s just not their m.o. They don’t go around killing officials.”

Pelz says the gang wouldn’t want to attract the attention of investigators.

While our sources haven’t given us any indication of this, Pelz says, “This is definitely have the earmarks and his signature of the cartels who commit these brazen acts against officials particularly in Mexico.”

Reward money for information leading to an arrest or indictment in these murders continues to grow. Various billboards around North Texas, featuring the pictures of Mark Hasse and Mike McLelland, list the current reward amount at $200,000. Investigators are still urging the public to call a special tip line with any potential leads.  The tipline is: 1-877-847-7522.

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