(Photo: Ian C. Bates, Dallas Morning News via AP)
By: Rick Jervis, USA Today
A Texas district attorney and his wife were shot to death in
their home just two months after a prosecutor from the same office was
gunned down outside the county courthouse, investigators said.
bodies of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, 63, and his
wife, Cynthia, were found Saturday in their home 35 miles southeast of
The door of McLellend's home home appeared to have been kicked in, the Dallas Morning News
reported. Neighbors reported noises Friday night that they thought were
from thunderstorms but indicated the murders may have occurred then.
planned to hold a news conference later Sunday to give additional
details. So far, the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office has not said
officially how the murders occurred, what the motive might be or whether
any suspects had been identified.
"We're in the
very preliminary stages in the investigation," said Justin Lewis, a
spokesman for the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office, which is leading the
investigation. "Right now, it's a death investigation."
deaths come as federal and local agents are still searching for
suspects in the brazen shooting death of Mark Hasse, an assistant
district attorney under McLelland. Hasse was shot and killed the morning
of Jan. 31 as he left his car outside the main Kaufman County
courthouse. Lewis would not say if the two incidents were connected.
STORY: Texas prosecutor gunned down
in Hasse's shooting were looking into the possibility that the violent
white supremacist gang, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, was involved in
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News posted Feb. 19, McLelland said federal and local agents were following all leads in the Hasse case.
"I don't think you can rule out anybody," he said. "They're going to go turn over all the rocks that they can.
"It's been incredibly hard for folks because it
was so sudden, so completely unexpected and so out of left field,"
McLelland told the news organization. But he said he felt hopeful Hasse's killer or killers would be found.
brag about it to somebody and that'll be his downfall," McLelland said.
"I'm just hoping that's sooner rather than later."
police officials said recently the FBI was checking to see whether
Hasse's killing was connected to the Mar. 19 killing of Colorado
Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, who was gunned down after answering the doorbell at his home.
Spencer Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist who
authorities believe killed Clements and a pizza delivery man two days
earlier, was killed in a Mar. 21 shootout with Texas deputies about 100
miles from Kaufman County. Investigators in that case, however, have not
revealed any links to Hasse's murder.
Hasse, 57, was chief of the
organized crime unit when he was an assistant prosecutor in Dallas
County in the 1980s, and he handled similar cases in Kaufman County.
63, had served 23 years as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army before
attending law school and launching his legal career, according to his
office's website. He had practiced law for 18 years as a criminal
defense attorney, mental health judge and special prosecutor for Family
and Protective Services, then served as criminal district attorney.
Contributing: Associated Press