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Williams’ defense lawyer told the judge he will call no witnesses to the stand, paving the way for closing arguments tomorrow.
Moments earlier, with the jury out of the courtroom , Williams stood up and told Judge Mike Snipes he had decided not to testify in his own defense.
Former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams used sophisticated computer software, first developed by the military, to try and remain anonymous when he emailed police, confessing to the killings of an East Texas DA, his wife and a veteran prosecutor, according to testimony today.
Eric Williams, once a lawyer and Kaufman County JP, used the “tor browser,” also known as an “onion router,” to send the fateful email on Easter 2013 – a day after District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife were shot to death in their home in Forney, jurors were told.
In the third day of Williams’ capital murder trial, prosecutors called several witnesses in an effort to tie the defendant to the Easter email – sent hours after the McLellands deaths to a Crime Stoppers tip line that said: “Do we have your full attention now?”
Subsequent emails to Crime Stoppers, also allegedly sent by Williams, demanded that a Kaufman County district judge step down.
The emailer added that if the demand was met, “Your act of good faith will result in no other acts this week,” and, “My superiors will see this as the first step in ending our actions.”
The Tor browser, or onion router, works to mask the sender of emails over the Internet by sending them to “layers” of unrelated people before they reach their intended recipient.
The software was first developed as a clandestine tool for the military, but later made easily available to the public, testimony showed.
Plano police detective Jeff Rich, a computer crimes expert that helped in the murder investigations, said that, despite the blocking software, officers were able to trace Williams back to the confessional emails after recovering computers from his house.
Williams and his wife Kim are both charged with killing the McLellands out of revenge for the DA having prosecuted Eric earlier for felony theft.
Eric and Kim Williams are also charged with capital murder in the Jan. 31, 2013 shooting of prosecutor Mark Hasse, who assisted McLelland in the theft conviction of Williams.
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