Reporting L.P. Phillips
KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The criminal case against a former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace and his wife, who are accused of three counts of murder, is moving forward.
Former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams and his wife Kim are accused of capital murder in the shooting deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia and assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse.
Sources tell KRLD that a grand jury convened last week and heard preliminary testimony in the case, though there is still forensic evidence that’s being processed.
“They’re not going to have to present all forensic evidence,” said criminal defense attorney Pete Schulte. “All they’ve got to present to the grand jury is enough probable cause that Mr. Williams committed the offense of capital murder.”
Due to the complexity of the case, Schulte says it may take several sessions of the grand jury before indictments can be returned. But Schulte emphasizes that there is a clock running on the state.
“There’s a certain time period that Texas law requires that a defendant have an indictment presented against them in order to hold them on a particular charge.”
Authorities believe Williams and his wife committed the murders in retaliation for a 2012 incident, in which Eric Williams was indicted on theft and burglary charges for stealing computer equipment from county offices.
Both DA McLelland and Assistant DA Hasse prosecuted the case against Williams, who lost his job and his license to practice law.
Kim Williams was arrested on April 17 and confessed to her role in the killings and identified her husband as the shooter, according to an arrest affidavit.
Eric Williams is being held on $23 million bond. Kim Williams’ bond has been set at $10 million.
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