A DEATH SQUAD IN TEXAS, MURDERING PROSECUTORS?
Texas prosecutor, wife found dead at home just 2 months after brazen murder of assistant prosecutor
March 31, 2013
(FORNEY, TEXAS) -- What has happened in Texas is such a rare event of extreme violence against a public official, many are asking themselves if some sort of death squad is operating in that state with the sole purpose of murdering prosecutors.
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland in black hat was found shot to death over the weekend along with his wife at their home in an unincorporated part of the county.
A well known Texas prosecutor and his wife were found killed in their house in Forney, Texas Saturday just two months after one of his assistants, Mark Hasse, was shot to death in a parking lot a block from their Kaufman County office. No one has been arrested in that case.
Investigators found the bodies of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, on Saturday, said Kaufman County sheriff’s Lt. Justin Lewis.
Following the discovery police investigators were joined by FBI agents, Texas Rangers and sheriff's deputies to determine what happened in the house and why.
Lewis did not say how the McLelland's died or if authorities believe their deaths are linked to Hasse’s.
Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh told The Dallas Morning News the McLellands had been shot in their home and at although police did not have firm knowledge that their deaths and Hasse’s were related, they couldn’t discount it.
“It is a shock,” Aulbaugh told the paper. “It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock and until we know what happened, I really can’t confirm that it’s related but you always have to assume until it’s proven otherwise.”
He also said that the Texas Rangers were helping with the investigation at the McLellands’ home in an unincorporated part of the county but that the sheriff’s department will be leading the investigation.
The Dallas Morning News also reported that a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity described the scene at the McLellands’ home as "an awful scene where the door appeared to have been kicked in."
“There are shell casings everywhere,” the official told the paper. “This is unprecedented. This is unbelievable. This is huge.”
Officers went door to door to interview neighbors to see if any of them saw or head anything while simultaneously police were working to confirm that other employees in the Kaufman County district attorney’s office were safe.
It was believed that everyone was accounted for and security was being provided at the homes of others who authorities feared might be targets.
The newspaper quoted Eric Smenner, a Kaufman defense attorney, as saying that the immediate police protection for the rest of the staff staff of the district attorney’s office was essential, adding that “They need to shut the office down for a while...I think everybody there is a target. They’re not safe in the streets in downtown Kaufman. They’re not safe in their homes.”
He also made a chilling reference to the out of control violence in Mexico due to drug cartel and smaller local gangs in that country, saying the recent events reminds him of the violence in Mexico. "It looks like somebody is making a pretty concentrated effort to target the most important people in that office."
Police have not announced when they thought the McLellands were murdered but some of the McLellands’ neighbors said the couple might have been killed late Friday as some thought they had heard loud noises but they chalked the noise up to thunder from storms passing through the area.
McLelland, 63, and his wife, 65, who worked as a psychiatric nurse at Terrell State Hospital, had five children, including a son who is a Dallas police officer, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Below is a report from Saturday night on the case from a local Texas TV station.