KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – “It’s such a small town. You’ve got Andy. You’ve got Barney and Floyd and Otis the town drunk…”
Staring at a Barney Fife picture in front of his desk, Kaufman County Attorney and former Dallas Police Detective Ron Herrington described how his quaint, peaceful town has changed.
“It’s gone from Mayberry to someplace totally different.”
The I-Team has learned there was a looming fear in Kaufman — a year ago.
And now, three people are dead.
“Mark said he became target number one.”
Who were they afraid of?
“The only person he ever told me he was afraid of was Eric.”
Eric Williams, who is being held on $23 million bond and has been charged with capital murder for the deaths of Prosecutor Mark Hasse, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.
William’s wife has also been arrested on capital murder charges.
Herrington says he and Hasse were close friends.
“He talked to me about the Aryan brotherhood cases he had out there … and he never mentioned being afraid of any of them.”
For years they shared stories about working around the Kaufman Courthouse.
“… and then when Eric Williams’ case came along, all he wanted to talk about was Eric and how afraid he was of Eric. That Eric might hurt him.
Herrington says Hasse’s behavior completely changed after he and McLelland began prosecuting Williams for burglary and theft of a public servant last year.
CBS 11 obtained the surveillance and interview video where deputies questioned Williams about stealing computer equipment from the county.
“Eric had multiple weapons, night vision equipment and body armor…that’s why he was carrying the pistol. That’s why he was trying to be careful. He had a DA badge clipped on because, in Texas, when you assault an officer, it’s more serious than if you assault someone who is not an officer.
Herrington and several other sources are also telling the I-Team that during Eric William’s 2012 trial guards inside the courthouse watched William’s every move.
“Mark told me before the trial that the Sheriff’s Department was very concerned that Eric might try to hurt somebody …and they had a contingency plan to keep Eric from getting in the building, because they were afraid he might try to get in to one of the back doors where there’s no bailiffs.”
Herrington says there is still fear out there. He says many people believe there may be a killer still on the loose.
Herrington left Dallas to live in what he calls “Mayberry,” but he says it will never be the place he once used as a get-away.
“I love this little town. This is my little escape. Everybody knows everybody. Things like this just aren’t supposed to happen out here in Mayberry. You can come here to get away from all of that. It’s just unbelievable. It’s horrible. This place will never be the same.”
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