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Assistant District Attorney Brandi Fernandez led the prosecution assisted by Shelton Gibbs
KAUFMAN -- Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot dead outside the courthouse Thursday, spurring a complete lockdown of the grounds and an active search for at least one, and possibly two, shooters.
"We're very confident that we're going to find you, we're going to pull you out of whatever hole you're in, we're going to bring you back and we're going to let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law," McLellan said.
Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood told News 8's Jonathan Betz that he was not aware of any high-profile cases that required any extra security for him.
Kaufman County authorities plead for leads to find assistant DA's killers
However, hours after Hasse was gunned down, the Department of Justice issued a release on its website crediting the Kaufman County District Attorney's Office with helping investigate two known members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas gang.
Before the release was issued, The Dallas Morning News credited "authorities with knowledge of the assistant DA's caseload" as saying he was "heavily involved" in an investigation of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, wife found dead in home
Kaufman County’s district attorney and his wife were found slain Saturday, raising fears that their deaths may be part of a plot that included the killing of one of the county’s assistant district attorneys in January.
In December, the Texas Department of Public Safety had issued a statewide bulletin warning that authorities had received “credible information” that the Aryan Brotherhood was “actively planning retaliation against law enforcement officials” who helped secure indictments in Houston against dozens of members, including the gang’s leadership.
WASHINGTON—Thirty-four alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) gang, including four of its most senior leaders, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Houston for allegedly conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise
Below are actual correspondences from a mere sampling of victims who have been defrauded by the evil tax-payer funded public servants currently holding positions in the corrupt Kaufman County system of gross injustice
judge Tygrett (the tyrant) sentenced me to 9 months probation for being beaten by a cop. I asked him (judge Howard Tygrett) to look at the on on board camera from his police car. He told me to shut my mouth and that I was a liar.
There are now several people under his watch and who appear in his courtroom daily who now have been in trouble with the law. This guy is a thief. Albeit not as bad as Kaufman Co LPC Linda Duggan who has 3 DUI’s and who’s license to practice has been ousted due to her not reporting child abuse as well as practicing without a license. What is going on in this County?
The City of Kaufman Texas Police Department and the City of Forney Texas Police Department and the Kaufman County Public Defenders Office (KCPDO) and the Kaufman Count Court / District Attorney’s Office seem to have clearly perpetuated some very serious offenses against citizens, at the expense of others reputation and freedom.
“I am a parent that has been done wrong with the justice system in Kaufman Texas. Judge Tygrett should have to be made to resign. Judge Tygrett ruled in the other parent’s favor with no evidence what so ever.
“I will be writing you my story, about what is taking place in Kaufman county with Eric Williams, Linda Duggan, and Carla Herron. I’m scared of losing my children.” ~Another Victim
A Kaufman County official arrested on burglary and theft charges in May has filed a motion to dismiss District Attorney Mike McLelland’s office from the case. According to the motion, Williams is requesting McLelland’s removal based on “a high degree of animosity” that developed during the 2006 Republican Party primary election. “The indictment on Mr. Williams was not the result of a crime having been committed as much as it was an attempt to settle a political grudge,” the motion reads.
Suspended justice of the peace Eric Williams has been found guilty on all charges by a Kaufman County jury in the 422nd District Court on Friday.
“I’m ecstatic,” District Attorney Mike McLellan said after the verdicts were announced. “It shows the community that elected officials should be, and are, held to a higher standard. It’s not the old system over here any more.”
“The Good Old Boy Network is gone.”
"This guy sitting over at the end of the defense table is an elected official who is nothing but a thief and a burglar," Hasse said.
Suspended justice of the peace Eric Williams was sentenced to two years probation by 422nd District Court Judge B. Michael Chitty, during a sentencing hearing held Monday.
The prosecution called witnesses that testified to death threats made by Williams in the past.
Janice Gray was a district court coordinator in Coryell County in the mid 1990s. She said she met Williams at a conference and the two, then single, began dating for a short time before breaking up. The next year, she ran into Williams at the same annual conference. Gray said they talked in the lobby of the hotel where the conference was being held. “He said he had something for my son,” Gray testified. She said Williams showed her a gun.
Later, as she and several other court coordinators attending the conference went out in the evening, Gray said Williams showed up at the same “sports bar” where her group went. She said he asked her to step away for a private talk, then told her if she walked away, he’d shoot her … that he had nothing to lose.
Assistant district attorney Mark Hasse also called local attorney Dennis Jones to the stand to testify about another death threat attributed to Williams.
Jones testified that he knew of a problem with a mediation hearing Williams was in charge of, one that involved another local attorney, Jon Burt, and a Dallas-area attorney.
Later, Jones testified that Williams showed up in the law offices that he and Burt share on the Kaufman Town Square. Jones said he heard Williams threaten to kill Burt, his wife; his children and that he would burn down their house.
Bit of an update from the CNN webpage.
Pete Schulte, a criminal defense attorney who has worked in the county, said other lawyers and public servants were nervous. "Having that type of environment going on where people who are just doing their jobs (and) getting assassinated -- this is what this is, elected officials getting assassinated -- and that is sending a chill through the (legal) community and the community in general," he said.
Schulte speculated that the killings were "personal."
"If this was a case that somebody was trying to change, they would have been going after witnesses and not the prosecuting attorney," he said.
KAUFMAN, Texas — Officials investigating the deaths of two prosecutors in this rural community east of Dallas have turned their attention to a former local official who threatened the two victims after losing his job in a corruption investigation, according to federal law enforcement officials briefed about the case.
The person of interest maintains he is innocent and has cooperated with investigators, according to his attorney, David Sergi.
The feed was just rolling, but went down just as I am writing this.
Original post 3:42 p.m.: Authorities are now searching the home of a former justice of the peace in Kaufman as they continue to investigate the murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife and a top prosecutor.