Texas Triple Murder: Woman Arrested for Role in Death of District Attorney, Wife and Assistant D.A.

Kim Lene Williams has confessed to her role in the killings of three people with her husband, Eric Williams, according to Kaufman, Tex. authorities.

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Tim Sharp / REUTERS

Investigators exit the home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland near Forney, Texas.

The wife of a former justice of the peace in Kaufman, Texas has been charged with capital murder after she reportedly confessed to her role in the killing of a district attorney and his wife last month and the earlier killing of an assistant district attorney, according to an arrest warrant.

Kim Lene Williams, 46, was booked by sheriffs early Wednesday, and is being held on $10 million bond.  Officials say that she confessed to her role in the murders of District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia on March 30, and of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse on January 31. She has allegedly admitted that she helped her husband, Eric Lyle Williams, also 46, to plot the murders and that her husband was the shooter. Eric Williams was arrested Saturday after allegedly e-mailing an anonymous threat to law enforcement from his personal computer, according to a probable cause affidavit. The threat came on March 31, a day after the McLellands were found dead in their home near Forney, Tex. The email said further violence would occur if his demands — which authorities did not specify — were not met.  On April 12, officials executed a search warrant on Williams’ home in Kaufman, Tex.

McLelland’s murder came three months after that of Hasse, who was involved in the investigation of members of the Aryan Brotherhood hate group. He was gunned down in broad daylight as he walked from his car to the courthouse. McLelland had vowed to find the killer of his main deputy. “I would like a few minutes with the person who did this to Mark,” McLelland told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram at the time. “I really want to find who did this.”

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White supremacists had been suspected in the murders of Hasse and the McLellands — as well as in the March 19 murder of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements. But Kim and Eric Williams are connected to the case for a completely different reason. McLelland and Hasse had prosecuted Eric Williams for theft of computer monitors from Kaufman County’s IT department and won a conviction. He was sentenced to probation, but the verdict cost him his law license, his job and the health insurance he and his wife — who testified that she suffered from several ailments including rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome — depended on.

Kim Lene Williams also told the court that her husband suffers from diabetes and sleep apnea and uses a machine at night to help him sleep. She also said in testimony that her chronic illness “makes it really hard for me to be mobile and do things that any normal person without this disease can do.”

According to the arrest warrant, both McLelland and Hasse feared for their safety and believed that Williams was a threat. They both also carried handguns for protection, it said.

The couple had been questioned for weeks since the time of McLelland’s death, and once authorities searched the Williams home, they took Eric into custody, alleging that the threats to county employees had come from his computer. Weapons were also taken from a Seagoville, Tex., storage unit that had been rented for Williams. These weapons were similar to those used in the shooting death of McLelland, the Morning News reported. Officials also seized a Ford Crown Victoria that they say looked like a car caught on surveillance video in the vicinity of the McLelland’s home on the morning of the murders.

On Monday, David Sergi, Eric Williams’ attorney, withdrew from the case, but did not give a reason. He simply said Williams “vigorously asserts his innocence” and denies he has any connection with the slayings.

Eric Williams is being held on $3 million bail and authorities expect to also charge him with capital murder. He has consistently maintained his innocence in the case. Kim Lene Williams is being held on $10 million bond. It is unclear why she was charged first by police, but a news conference is being planned by Kaufman County sheriffs for Thursday to give more details in the case.

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