KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Eric Williams’ hope for a new trial was rejected by state District Judge Webb Baird who, instead, sent the former justice of the peace back to Death Row.
Williams’ defense lawyers argued that their client was mentally impaired and that the judge in his capital murder trial was unfair.
They said his brain had been “broken” by diabetes, causing him to lose his ability at sound logic and reasoning.
Williams’ lawyers, in the three-day hearing, also said the judge in the murder trial, Mike Snipes, showed “facial expressions” that prejudiced the jurors.
Special prosecutor Bill Wirskye countered by saying Snipes was fair to both sides, and that Williams was mentally capable to stand trial.
And while Williams didn’t have a broken brain, Wirskye argued, “His mind and heart are evil.”
Judge Baird rejected the defense arguments and ordered Williams, who was was not in the courtroom, back to prison for killing Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia on Easter weekend of 2013. This is the first of several opportunities by Williams to appeal his conviction, going all the way to the Supreme Court.
Williams was convicted in December and sentenced to death for killing the McLellands in what prosecutors called murderous acts of revenge.
He is also charged in the execution-style killing of McLelland’s chief prosecutor, Mark Hasse, two months earlier.
The state has said it will not try Williams for Hasse’s killing, since he’s already facing the death chambers for the McLellands’ deaths.
McLelland and Hasse had earlier prosecuted Williams for burglary and theft of a small amount of county computer equipment.
Those earlier convictions cost Williams his job as an elected justice of the peace, and caused him to lose his license as a well-respected lawyer.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)