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Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty For Man Accused Of Kaufman Murders

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) - This is the first time the public could see Eric Williams, the former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace, since he was charged with shooting and killing District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and his top assistant DA, Mark Hasse.

Dressed in a business suit, Williams didn’t react when he learned what his fate could be.

In court, the special prosecutors told the judge the state will seek the death penalty.

In a separate hearing, Williams’ wife, Kim, who’s also charged in the murders, heard special prosecutors say they haven’t decided yet if she will also face the death penalty.

Her attorney, Paul Johnson was asked how his client is doing?

“She’s holding up,” said Johnson.

Mike McLelland’s mother, and Cynthia McLelland’s adult children and close family friends were sitting in court.

They declined on-camera interviews, but Mike McLelland’s mother told us off-camera, she’d like to shoot Eric Williams in the knees.

His attorney told the judge they’re concerned about receiving a fair trial, and said he may file a motion to move the trial.

Not far from the courtroom is the office where Eric Williams once worked as a Justice of the Peace. It’s a fact not lost on county leaders.”

Erleigh Norville Wiley, Kaufman County’s District Attorney told me watching Eric Williams in court Friday “Was almost surreal. These are people who were members of our community as you well know. Eric Williajms was an attorney when I was a judge doing work in my court. He was a colleague because he was a JP.”

Authorities believe Eric Williams sought revenge against McLelland and Hasse, after he was convicted of stealing county computers.

That conviction ultimately cost Williams his job and law license.

“Our criminal justice system works, and even though these individuals tried destroying that, the system is up and going,” according to Kaufman County Commissioners Court Judge Bruce Wood.

The judge says he hopes to start selecting a judge next spring.

He set the trial for October of next year.

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