ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) — The lead prosecutor in the capital murder trial for Eric Williams admitted today that “we messed up” by claiming 13 guns belonged to Williams, when they do not.
One of the guns actually belonged to a man Williams is accused of killing, Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse, while another four belonged to Williams’ in-laws.
“That’s our mistake,” prosecutor Bill Wirskye acknowledged, triggering a request for a mistrial by the lead defense attorney, Matthew Seymour.
Judge Mike Snipes denied the request, but removed from evidence the 13 guns, leaving 52 high-powered weapons that the state says were recovered from Williams’ home and storage shed.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty after Williams was convicted last week in the shooting deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia on the eve of Easter 2013.
Those killings, and the execution-style attack on Hasse on Jan. 31, 2013, were acts of revenge by Williams for McLelland and Hasse prosecuting him a year earlier for theft and burglary, according to prosecutors.
Those convictions cost Williams his job as a justice of the peace Kaufman and his state license as a lawyer.
Williams’ estranged wife, Kim, is charged with capital murder as an accomplice in all three killings.
After dealing with the misplaced guns, the defense continued to call Williams’ friends and high school classmates, who portrayed Williams as a nice person and capable lawyer.
One of those friends, Tammy Moss, said she had visited Williams in jail several times, including recently, and does not believe he is guilty.
“He said he didn’t do it, and I trust him,” Moss told the jury.
Kaufman County resident Ronnie Fudge said he won custody of his infant son in a contentious divorce because of Williams, who was his lawyer in the case.
And when his legal bills began to mount, and he couldn’t pay anymore, “Eric quit charging me,” Fudge said.
When the prosecutor, Wirskye, asked why Fudge would remain friends with a “triple murderer,” the witness didn’t hesitate, saying: “He still needs somebody to talk to.”
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