KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBS 11 I-TEAM) – Eric Williams has not been named a suspect in the murder of Mike and Cynthia McLelland or Mark Hasse. But the former Justice of the Peace was questioned by police and tested for gun residue. That happened just one day after the McLelland’s bodies were found.
The CBS 11 I-Team has uncovered Williams had a history with both Mike McLelland and Mark Hasse. The two prosecuted Eric Williams back in 2012 for Burglary and Theft By A Public Servant. Williams is just one of many people that have been interviewed during these murder investigations. But today he spoke with CBS 11 I-Team Investigative Reporter Mireya Villarreal about his involvement in both murder cases.
Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Eric Williams was questioned back in 2011 after security cameras caught him taking computer equipment from the county’s IT department.
The CBS 11 I-Team got a hold of that surveillance video and the interview video between deputies and Williams.
Deputy: “There’s, uh, three monitors missing. One’s on your desk right now.”
Officer: “Where’s the others at?”
During April and May of 2011, Williams was seen several times walking into a county building with nothing. Minutes late he’s walking out with printer cartridges or dell boxes. This video was used by prosecutors, Mark Hasse and Mike McLelland during Williams’ criminal trial.
Deputy: “I don’t think that you actually believe… I mean, you’re an educated person, I see your class ring on your finger… That you can just walk into an IT department and say I need a monitor. I’m taking that one. I mean…”
Williams: “There’s places that do that.”
Eric Williams claimed he had every intention of using this equipment in his capacity as a Justice of the Peace. But the jury didn’t buy it and convicted him on both charges. During sentencing two people testified that Eric Williams had threatened their lives.
Williams has since appealed his case, saying, in part, Mike McLelland and Mark Hasse were out to get him because they didn’t like him.
“My heart goes out to all the families that have been affected by this tragedy. And especially the people that work at the courthouse,” Eric Williams told us today.
Williams wouldn’t talk to us about his criminal case because it’s set to be heard by the 5th Court of Appeals soon. But he did talk to us about being questioned by police during the murder investigations of Mark Hasse and Mike and Cynthia McLelland.
“It actually makes me feel that the police are doing the thorough job that they need to,” Williams added.
We did try to talk with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department about their interest in Eric Williams, but they wouldn’t comment this afternoon.
Attorney David Sergi released a statement about law enforcement’s questioning of Williams. It says in part, “Eric has nothing to hide. It’s only natural for the investigators to be going through recent case files and to be following up on every possible lead.”
Also in the statement Williams is quoted as saying, “If I was in their shoes, I’d do the same thing. They need to do a thorough process of elimination and I have no hard feelings toward the prosecution in my trial, or of being asked about the recent slayings. I’ve cooperated fully with law enforcement and wish them the best in bringing the perpetrator of the killings to justice.”