ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – Prosecutors on Wednesday are set to wrap up their case during the punishment phase of the Eric Williams capital murder trial. It is unclear if Williams’ estranged wife, Kim, who is also charged with the murders, will testify against him.READ MORE: Billionaire Ross Perot, Jr Gifts Dallas Police Department New Helicopter
Williams’ lawyers will then have a chance to put on their case to convince the jury that they should not sentence the convicted killer to death.
On Tuesday, prosecutors created a dramatic display for the jury: 64 weapons and ammunition they seized from Eric Williams’ storage unit after Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia McLelland, and his top assistant Mark Hasse were murdered.
But Williams’ lead attorney, Matthew Seymour, fought to keep the jury from seeing the massive display. “Judge, it’s fundamentally unfair,” Seymour said. “This is not some type of drug raid we’ve seen in Mexico City. I think it clearly is designed for one purpose and one purpose only, to inflame the jury’s sentiments.”
But the judge disagreed, saying that it was relevant during this phase of the trial.
So, ATF special agent Matthew Johnson showed jurors every weapon and described them. Among the weapons displayed were the two guns that investigators say Williams used to murder Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse. A dive team recovered them from the murky Lake Tawakoni. Besides guns, the agent showed a sword and a machete found in Williams’ storage shed.
Details and evidence about the Hasse murder on January 31, 2013 have been a main focus during the punishment phase of the trial, even though Williams has not been prosecuted for Hasse’s murder yet. Last Thursday, Williams was convicted for murdering the McLellands in their home on March 30, 2013.
During their second day of the punishment phase, prosecutors also played a secret interview that investigators did with Williams two days before they searched his storage shed. An investigator asked Williams, “Hey, just curious, how many guns did you used to own?”
Williams replied, “About 16.”READ MORE: Attorneys For Former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean Seek Change Of Venue For Murder Trial
The investigator asked, “You sold 15 of them?”
Williams responded, “If I waited until December, I would have made more money.”
At that point, Williams was already a convicted felon after being found guilty of stealing county computer equipment in 2012.
Investigators asked Williams if he would answer their questions about the murders. Williams answered, “Here’s what I think. There’s nothing that I can tell anybody that you’re going to put on the big black board and put the X on the case.” One week after the interview, authorities arrested and charged Williams with murdering Hasse and the McLellands.
Prosecutors also provided jurors with more details about Williams’ conviction of stealing county computers. They showed photos taken inside Williams’ pickup truck in May 2011, showing assault rifles and shotguns attached to the roof inside.
CBS 11 News has learned that, after hearing this, Hasse became concerned for his safety, and started carrying a gun. Prosecutors said that, because of the theft case, Williams sought revenge and plotted to murder the McLellands and Hasse.
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