KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Unnerved, but poised, Brandi Fernandez spoke lovingly about her former boss, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia just days after they were murdered.
Fernandez says, “He and Cynthia were the mom and dad of the office. I still kind of expect him to walk through with a plate of cookies that she cooked us.”

But the harsh reality of the murders led to Fernandez taking over the DA’s office temporarily. Fernandez praised her colleagues as strong and unwavering in their determination to continue their mission. “Even though we’re going to miss Mike, we’re going to honor Mike by staying dedicated to the job.”

Fernandez appeared at a news conference where Governor Rick Perry unveiled new billboards that are going up across Texas and in neighboring states. Mr. Perry announced that his office is doubling the reward money to $200,000 for any information leading to the arrests and indictments for the McLellands’ murders, and that of assistant DA Mark Hasse back on January 31st. The Governor was asked if it’s safe to work as a prosecutor in Texas. Perry said,”Yes” and that “The fact is we cannot react with fear, we have to react with resolve.”

Fernandez says she isn’t troubled by her new around the clock security. “It certainly puts a kink in your life, but I think it’s necessary, so we can still show up and get this job done.” Fernandez says prosecutors are still moving forward on their cases, and haven’t requested delays.

Governor Perry will appoint a District Attorney in the next three weeks.

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