The wife of a former justice of the peace was arrested today on allegations of capital murder in connection with the slayings of the Kaufman County district attorney, his wife and one of his assistant prosecutors.
According to a sworn affidavit for warrant of arrest, Kim Lene Williams "confessed to her involvement" in all three killings.
Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland was slain on March 30 along with his wife, Cynthia, inside their home near Forney. Two months earlier, Mark Hasse, a Kaufman County assistant district attorney, was fatally shot while walking from the employee parking lot to work.
Kim Williams is the wife of Eric Lyle Williams, a former Kaufman County justice of the peace.
Eric Williams was arrested on April 12 on allegations of a misdemeanor terroristic threat. He allegedly sent an electronic message to law enforcement officials investigating the slayings that implied "unless law enforcement responded to the demands of the writer, another attack would occur," according to his arrest warrant.
Kim and Eric Williams are being held in the Kaufman County Jail. An official at the Kaufman County Jail says both Williamses have refused requests for interviews with the media.
It is not known whether or not either have retained criminal defense attorneys. Neither has been officially charged in connection with the slayings.
According to the affidavit for arrest warrant of Kim Williams, in March of 2012 her husband was convicted in a jury trial of the felony offenses of burglary of a building and theft by a public servant. Hasse and McLelland were the prosecutors in the jury trial of those cases. Eric Williams was suspended from his judicial duties after his indictment, removed from his elected office and remains suspended without pay pending his appeal.
"Mr. Hasse and Mr. McLelland both believed that Eric Williams blamed them for his removal from office," according to a sworn statement by Sgt. Matt Woodall of the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department. "Affiant has also learned from other officers and county employees that both Mr. Hasse and Mr. McLelland regularly carried handguns after the Eric Williams jury trial because they believed Eric Williams to be a threat to their personal safety."
According to Kim Williams’ arrest warrant, during an April 16 interview with law enforcement officials, she "confessed to her involvement to the scheme and course of conduct in the shooting deaths of Mark Hasse, Michael McLelland and Cynthia McLelland."
Justice-of-the-peace courts are one of the oldest and most common trial courts in Texas. The state’s 819 justice-of-the-peace courts handle civil actions of not more than $10,000 in controversy, small claims, and criminal misdemeanors punishable by fine only. Justices of the peace are not required to have law licenses to sit on the bench.
Williams was the rare JP who held a law degree. However, his law license was suspended as part of his agreed order with the Board of Disciplinary Appeals on Oct 9, 2012, following his felony conviction.