Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and His Wife Found Shot To Death

8:53 AM, Mar 31, 2013   |    comments
Crime Scene
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Investigators are looking into the deaths of a North Texas district attorney and his wife, just two months after an assistant district attorney who worked in the same office was gunned down outside the county courthouse.

Police discovered the bodies of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia McLelland, on Saturday at their home in unincorporated Kaufman County, about 35 miles southeast of Dallas, said Lt. Justin Lewis, a spokesman with the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office, which is leading the inquiry.

Lewis would not say if the couple was murdered or how they died.

"We're in the very preliminary stages in the investigation," he said. "Right now, it's a death investigation."

The 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, who was shot and killed the morning of Jan. 31 as he exited his car outside the main Kaufman County courthouse. Lewis would not say if the two incidents were connected.

STORY: Texas prosecutor gunned down

Investigators in Hasse's shooting had been looking into the possibility that the violent white supremacist gang, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, was involved in the killing.

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.

"He'll brag about it to somebody and that'll be his downfall," McLelland said. "I'm just hoping that's sooner rather than later."

Kaufman police officials said recently the FBI was checking to see if 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.

Evan Spencer Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist who authorities believe killed Clements and a pizza delivery man two days earlier, was gunned down in a March 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.

McLelland, 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.

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