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PD: Accused Kaufman County Killer Had Another Hit Planned

By Jack Douglas Jr. and Jason Allen | CBS 11 News |
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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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KAUFMAN (CBS 11 NEWS) - It was a crime spree that crippled the small North Texas town of Kaufman and left three people dead. Now, CBS 11’s I-Team has exclusive, new information that reveals yet another bizarre twist in a case that made national news.

Sources tell CBS 11 News that Eric Williams, the man charged with killing a prosecutor, a district attorney and the DA’s wife, had at least one more victim on his list before he was arrested a year ago in Kaufman County.

Williams, a former Kaufman county justice of the peace, is facing the death penalty if convicted in the shooting deaths of DA Mike McClelland, his wife Cynthia, and prosecutor Mark Hasse. It is one of the most notorious crime sprees in North Texas history.

Now, sources close to the case have told CBS 11 that evidence has been found, and a statement given, that lead investigators to believe Williams also planned to kill former state district judge Glen Ashworth, who had once befriended Williams and had hired him as his court coordinator.

The manner in which Ashworth was allegedly to be killed is yet another strange twist to a plot that has shocked even the most seasoned in law enforcement.

CBS 11 News has learned that Williams’ wife, Kim, a co-defendant in the case, told investigators her husband planned to attack Ashworth at the former judge’s sprawling ranch in Kaufman county… shoot him with a crossbow …then, while still alive, cut open his stomach, douse him with napalm and set him on fire.

The sources, speaking only to CBS 11, said Williams even planned to wear “surgical booties” to keep blood from staining his boots.

As strange as it sounds, sources say it explains a puzzling discovery exactly a year ago, in a Seagoville storage shed used by Williams. At that time, along with guns and a suspected getaway car, police found a crossbow, arrows, two jars of homemade napalm, a hunting knife and surgical gear — including the booties.

Because the gear had all been gathered into a military-style “go-to bag,” authorities suspect the alleged planned attack on Ashworth was nearing, but cut short by the arrests of Williams and his now-estranged wife.

Ashworth, who served 22 years as a district judge in Kaufman county and before that was the county’s district attorney, declined comment, other than to express disappointment in Williams, whom he had helped in the past…

And while a firm motive is still not clear, the sources tell CBS 11 News Williams may have believed his former boss provided incriminating evidence in a theft conviction in 2012. That conviction cost Williams his law license and his job as a justice of the peace, and, investigators believe, triggered a murderous grudge.

The case involving the relatively minor theft of county computer equipment was prosecuted by Mark Hasse, who was later gunned down on Jan. 31, 2013, in broad daylight near the Kaufman courthouse square.

Two months later, Mike McClelland, who had helped in the theft prosecution of Williams, was shot and killed, along with his wife, at their home in nearby Forney.

CBS 11 News tried unsuccessfully to reach Eric Williams’ defense attorney for comment. Meanwhile, Williams and his estranged wife, Kim, remain jailed in lieu of millions of dollars in bail. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty in the case.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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