ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – Eric Williams, who is charged with killing Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife and another prosecutor, appeared in court Friday to hear testimony from a state firearms expert in his case.
Dressed in a dark suit, Williams kept his head down, often looking at papers and occasionally taking notes at the defense table.
During a short recess, Williams rose, stared straight ahead and fidgeted his hands in his pockets.
Two armed sheriff’s deputies from Kaufman County stood near his side.
During the pre-trial hearing, prosecutors in the case called to the witness stand James Jeffress, a firearms expert with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Jeffress told the judge he matched spent bullets at a target practice area with firearms found in a storage unit allegedly rented by Williams and his estranged wife, Kim, a co-defendant in the case.
Jeffress also said he matched 16 spent bullets recovered from the McLellands’ murder scene with the firearms found in the storage unit.
On cross examination, Williams’ court-appointed defense attorney questioned the standards and qualifications used by Jeffress to determine the bullet match.
At one point, the lawyer also asked whether Jeffress benefited personally from participating in the case. The DPS officer said he did not.
State District Judge Mike Snipes ruled in favor of the prosecution in saying the state expert could testify in Williams’ capital murder trial, scheduled for December 1 in Rockwall.
Williams, a former lawyer and Kaufman County justice of the peace, is charged with shooting McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, to death at their home on the eve of Easter Sunday 2013.
Williams is also charged with the earlier shooting death of McLelland’s chief deputy, Mark Hasse, on January 31, 2013, in a daring daylight attack near the Kaufman County courthouse lawn.
The killings are believed to be motivated by Williams’ hatred for McLelland and Hasse for prosecuting him earlier in a petty theft case that cost Williams’ job as a lawyer and JP.
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