Two Texas prosecutors were killed over a two month span, one of which was the district attorney in Kaufman County.
District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were shot to death, almost two months after assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse was shot and killed outside Texas county’s courthouse on January 31 of this year. Hasse had feared for his life and carried a gun to work, said a Dallas attorney who described herself as his longtime friend.
Subsequent to Hasse’s murder, McLelland was recorded stating, “We’re going to pull you out of whatever hole you’re in, we’re going to bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
It is said that investigators have recovered several shell casings from a .223-caliber rifle in the McLelland’s home.
It is said that Brandi Fernandez, McLelland’s first assistant district attorney, will take over the office on an interim basis until Gov. Rick Perry can appoint a successor.
McLelland’s office was one of numerous Texas and federal agencies involved in a multiple-year investigation that led to the 2012 indictment of 34 alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas on racketeering charges.
The FBI describes the group as a “whites only,” prison-based gang with members operating inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout Texas and elsewhere in the United States since at least the early 1980s.”
While authorities have not said if they have established a link between the deaths of Hasse and McLelland, or the involvement of white supremacists, Texas law enforcement agencies did warn shortly after the November 2012 indictment that there was “credible information” that members of the Aryan Brotherhood were planning to retaliate” for the indictment.
There is additional speculation that has considered the possibility that the shootings may be connected to the March 19 death of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements, who was gunned down after answering the door to his house.