Tags: texas | prosecutor | murder

Former Texas Official Jailed in Prosecutor Death Probe

Saturday, 13 Apr 2013 12:44 PM

 

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DALLAS -- A former justice of the peace in Kaufman County, Texas, whose home was searched as part of the probe into the killings of the local district attorney, his wife and a prosecutor, has been arrested on suspicion of threatening violence, a jail official said on Saturday.

Eric L. Williams, 46, was arrested on Friday on charges of making a "terroristic" threat, which generally involves a threat to commit violence, and insufficient bond, according to the Kaufman County jail website. Kaufman County is just east of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

It was not immediately clear whether the alleged threat had any connection to the slayings. The arrest of Williams marked at least the third time investigators in the case have taken a person into custody over an alleged threat.

According to local media, Williams has not been named as a suspect in the deaths of the prosecutors and one of their spouses.

Williams' attorney, David Sergi, said in a statement on Friday that his client "has cooperated with law enforcement and vigorously denies any and all allegations," according to local news station KXAS-TV, an NBC affiliate.

Sergi could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

A jail representative confirmed that Williams' bail was set at $3 million in connection with the charges against him, but she could not release further details.

Kaufman County Sheriff's spokesman Lieutenant Justin Lewis did not return calls to Reuters.

Lewis said on Friday that investigators had executed a search warrant related to the slaying cases. Local media reported that the investigators had gone to Williams' home.

Williams lost his position as justice of the peace in Kaufman County after being convicted of theft, according to KXAS-TV and other local media outlets.

Authorities have been seeking leads in the March 30 shooting deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, at their home near the town of Forney, Texas, and a separate Jan. 30 execution-style slaying of local assistant district attorney Mark Hasse.

The Texas Rangers division of the state's public safety department on April 4 arrested a man it accused of using Facebook to threaten violence against an assistant district attorney. Two days earlier, the it arrested another man suspected of making a telephone threat against a county official on a tip line set up for the case.
 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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