Nation

Former justice of the peace linked to case of slain Texas DA, wife

Kristi Ivie prayed with her son Lance, 6, on Sunday near the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman, Texas. Authorities have not named any suspects in the March 28 killings of Mike McLelland, a North Texas district attorney, and his wife.
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press
Kristi Ivie prayed with her son Lance, 6, on Sunday near the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman, Texas. Authorities have not named any suspects in the March 28 killings of Mike McLelland, a North Texas district attorney, and his wife.

KAUFMAN, Texas — Authorities investigating the deaths of a North Texas district attorney and his wife appear to be focusing on a former justice of the peace who was prosecuted last year by the official for theft.

Eric Lyle Williams, 46, was arrested Saturday on a charge of making a terroristic threat and is being held on $3 million bond.

His arrest came after federal and local agents investigating the March 28 deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, searched Williams’s home on Friday.

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Authorities have said little about their investigation into the McLellands’ deaths and have not named any suspects. Suspicion previously has included a white supremacist prison gang known as the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, which had been targeted by a task force that included McLelland’s office.

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Two others have been arrested for making terroristic threats during the investigation into the slayings, but authorities said they had no connection to the deaths.

Justin Lewis, a Kaufman County sheriff’s office spokesman, declined to discuss the developments. ‘‘Mr. Williams has not been charged with murder,’’ Lewis said Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the FBI would not comment on Sunday on the ongoing investigation.

The McLellands were killed about two months after one of McLelland’s prosecutors, Mark Hasse, was slain outside the local courthouse. McLelland and Hasse both participated in last year’s prosecution of Williams on charges that he stole three computer monitors from an office building.

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Williams has said he submitted to gunshot residue tests and turned over his cellphone after both McLelland and Hasse were found dead. Williams’s attorney, David Sergi, said in a statement Friday that Williams ‘‘has cooperated with law enforcement and vigorously denies any and all allegations.’’

Associated Press