Defense attorneys seek delay in Kaufman Co. DA murders case

Eric and Kim Williams

Credit: Kaufman County Jail

Mug shots of former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams and his wife Kim Williams.

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by TANYA EISERER

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyaeiserer

WFAA

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Attorneys representing a former Kaufman County justice of the peace, who is accused of killing the district attorney, his wife, and a top assistant last year, have filed a motion seeking to delay his trial.

In their motion, attorneys for Eric Williams say the plan to start picking a jury in late March would imperil his right to due process. The motion was filed Friday.

Dallas County District Judge Michael Snipes has not yet ruled on the motion. He was appointed to the cases after a Kaufman judge recused himself.

Williams, 46, faces a charge of capital murder. He is being held in the Kaufman County jail in lieu of $23 million bail.

Williams’ wife, Kim, has also been charged with capital murder. She is being in the Kaufman County jail. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty against her.

Eric Williams’ attorneys, Matthew Seymour and John Wright, say they need more time to get additional documents from prosecutors and to review the numerous amounts of records they have already received. The attorneys say they want any documents or data gathered by the investigation looking into whether the killings may have been gang-related.
 
“The defense simply does not know what credible evidence, other than his wife’s statement, which might connect Eric to the crimes or the crimes scenes,” the lawyers wrote. “Yet the death prosecution of Eric Williams continues in full force.”

Last month, Snipes moved the capital murder trial Rockwall. At that time, he announced that his plan was that Williams’ trial would start Oct. 20. He also said that he planned to begin the lengthy process of selecting a jury on March 28.

The killings garnered national attention, beginning with the Jan. 31, 2013, slaying of assistant Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse, 57. He was gunned down as he walked to the downtown Kaufman courthouse.

District Attorney Mike McLelland, 63, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were slain Forney home over the Easter weekend.

A grand jury indicted Mr. and Mrs. Williams in June.

Authorities believe the couple began plotting the murders after McLelland and Hasse prosecuted Eric Williams in a theft and burglary case that resulted in his removal as a justice of the peace in 2012. Eric Williams also was stripped of his law license. A judge sentenced him to probation in that case.

E-mail teiserer@wfaa.com

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