Reporting L.P. Phillips
KAUFMAN COUNTY (KRLD) - There is a new twist in a divorce that may be a first for Texas. Court documents show Kim-Lene Williams, wife of former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, has refiled a divorce case, this time naming her sister-in-law as a defendant.
Kim-Lene and Eric Williams are both being held on capital murder charges for the January death of assistant Kaufman County District Attorney Mark Hasse and the March 30th murders of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. Those criminal cases are still pending. However, after their arrests, Kim-Lene filed for divorce.
In the latest pleading, Kim-Lene Williams says the parties were married in 1996 “…and ceased to live together as husband and wife on or about April 12, 2013.” The petition says “(Eric Williams) is guilty of cruel treatment toward (Kim-Lene Williams) of a nature that renders further living together unsupportable.”
But it is the introduction of Eric Williams’ sister, Tera E. Bellemare, as a third-party defendant that makes this suit different. The petition claims Kim-Lene owns property that is separate from her husband. It says “Bellemare is the sister of (Eric Williams) and is alleged to hold his power of attorney. Bellemare has converted the separate property of (Ms Williams) to her own use of possession and continues to convert said property on a monthly basis.”
Kim-Lene also asserts “Bellemare refuses to account for any of her conversions.”
She is asking a judge to award her $100,000.00
Dallas attorney Edward B. Klein, who is not affiliated with the case, says the action is unusual from a number of perspectives.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a divorce case pending where the two spouses are looking at spending at least the rest of their life in prison.” Klein said.
Indeed both of the Williamses face either life in prison or the death penalty if convicted of capital murder. So far prosecutors have only said they will seek the death penalty against Eric Williams. Klein feels the move by Ms. Williams may be an indication there is maneuvering behind the scenes to cut a deal that would allow her to testify against her husband. “Absolutely that could be a possibility.” Klein said. “Maybe cut some kind of deal in the criminal cases to either testify against her future ex-husband or somehow cooperate with the authorities, or whatever the case may be, to eventually get out of jail for the end of her life.”
If that were to happen, Klein says, Ms. Williams would have some assets to fall back on.
Police say Eric Williams was the gunman in all three murders, and that Kim-Lene Williams drove him to the two locations. Police seized evidence they say was used in both crimes from a storage locker in Seagoville, including parts of assault rifles and a car they say was used in the crimes.
Prosecutors claim Mr. Williams was seeking revenge against McLelland and Hasse for their aggressive prosecution of the then-Justice of the Peace for theft of computer equipment. The conviction not only got Mr. Williams tossed from office, it resulted in his law license being pulled.
The attorney for Ms. Williams has not returned a phone call. Mr. Williams is representing himself in the divorce matter and has not allowed any interviews since his arrest. A message left at Ms. Bellemare’s home has not been returned.
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