KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) - Authorities with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office on Monday responded to comments made by a spokesman for the family of murdered district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife. Chris Heisler, better known as the founder of U.S. Honor Flag, addressed reporters on behalf of the family.
In his remarks, Heisler said that county resources were too thin to adequately protect officials, especially after the death of Mark Hasse, an assistant district attorney who was gunned down two months before McLelland. He was also critical of the $200,000 reward being offered in the case, saying that it was too small. “The reward money that’s out right now is $200,000. I think that’s insignificant,” Heisler said.
Heisler’s comments, he said, were coming from the district attorney’s two stepchildren. According to Heisler, the family was “angry initially, furious now. The resources in Kaufman County are obviously very limited. Mike himself expressed this concern to his family and to his wife.”
Heisler said that McLelland’s family wants the FBI to take over the investigation, and the reward to be increased to $1 million.
Crime Stoppers responded to the reward criticism on Sunday, and the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office released a response on Monday. They called Heisler’s comments “inaccurate and unauthorized.”
The response went on to say, “While we appreciate and applaud Mr. Heisler’s efforts to promote the honor and memory of this nation’s fallen heroes and protectors, it must be remembered that Mr. Heisler is not a law enforcement officer and is not affiliated with the investigation into the deaths of Mike and Cynthia McLelland or Mark Hasse in any manner.” Authorities called Heisler’s statements “purely speculative in nature.”
The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office also reminded the public that the FBI, along with the Texas Rangers, are involved in the case and working in a collaborative effort with authorities in the county. “Each of these law enforcement agencies has unique strengths and investigative expertise that are being utilized to complement each other in order to have a more efficient and effective investigation,” the statement said.
However, as has always been the case, officials declined to provide further details into each agency’s role in the investigation.
Finally, the sheriff’s office said, “Measures are being taken to enhance the security and protection of not only the residents of Kaufman County, but also of the many people who visit our courthouse on business every day.” Part of this includes assistance from other local law enforcement agencies.
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