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Couple indicted on capital murder in killing of Texas prosecutors

Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams is pictured in this booking photo courtesy of the Kaufman County Sheriff. REUTERS/K
Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams is pictured in this booking photo courtesy of the Kaufman County Sheriff. REUTERS/K

By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - A former Texas court official who lost his law license after a theft conviction last year was indicted along with his wife on Thursday on capital murder charges in the killings of three people, including two Texas officials who had spearheaded the theft prosecution.

Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace, and his wife, Kim Williams, are accused of fatally shooting Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, at their home in March. They are also accused of gunning down Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse near a county courthouse in January.

The Williamses, who are both 46, were indicted for the three murders. Eric Williams also was indicted for making a "terroristic threat."

Attorneys for the two defendants could not be reached immediately for comment.

The killings of the Texas prosecutors, as well as the March slaying of Colorado's prisons chief in an attack blamed on a white supremacist parolee, raised alarm of a wave of targeted assassinations against law enforcement officials.

Investigators initially looked into the possibility that white supremacists were involved in the Texas killings, but turned their focus to Eric Williams. McLelland and Hasse had prosecuted Eric Williams for the theft of office computer monitors.

Kim Williams told authorities her husband killed Hasse and the McLellands, according to arrest warrants released in the case. She said she drove the getaway car when Hasse was killed and was a passenger in the car when the McLellands were killed, providing details that had not been made public.

Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Norville Wiley told a news conference that her office will not be involved in the prosecution and special prosecutors have been named.

Eric Williams is being held on $23 million bond and Kim Williams is being held on $10 million bond in the Kaufman County jail.

(Editing by David Bailey and Leslie Adler)

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