ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – The triple murder case that terrorized Kaufman County last year headed back into the courtroom on Monday. Jury selection began in the trial of Eric Williams, even though the investigation may not be over.
Williams has been charged with capital murder in connection with the slayings of District Attorney Mike McLelland, wife Cynthia McLelland, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse. Prosecutors have called the murders an act of revenge after Williams was convicted for burglary and theft in 2012.
Less than two weeks ago, an attorney for Williams asked for a delay in the trial. The judge denied that request.
Williams was brought into the courtroom on Monday surrounded by a rather large legal team.
Jury selection in this case is critical since that is the primary reason that the case was moved from Kaufman County to Rockwall. The defense asked for the case to be transferred because so many Kaufman County residents were affected by the suspect search and case investigation. Jury selection got underway at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
This is going to be a lengthy process, possibly as long as six weeks. Earlier this month, around 3,000 potential jurors were called to the courthouse. The jury pool has been whittled down to about 1,300 people. Monday was the first opportunity for attorneys to question the jury panel. Prosecutors stated that they are going after the death penalty in this case.
And investigators may not be finished. Just a few weeks ago, the FBI dug up the ground around the home of Williams. They were reportedly on the hunt for part of an AR-15, one of the weapons believed to be used in the killings.
After the jury is selected, testimony is scheduled to begin on December 1.
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