Affidavit: Wife of disgraced JP confessed in Kaufman County killings

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by REBECCA LOPEZ and MARJORIE OWENS

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 11:27 AM

KAUFMAN –– Kim Lene Williams, the 46-year-old wife of disgraced former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, was arrested and charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of prosecutor Mark Hasse and DA Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia.

An affidavit released by the sheriff's department Wednesday claims Mrs. Williams confessed that her husband was the person who pulled the trigger in all three shooting deaths.

Quoting from the affidavit: "Kim Williams described in detail her role along that of her husband, Eric Williams whom she reported to have shot to death Mark Hasse on January 31, 2013 and Michael and Cynthia McLelland on March 30, 2013."

The document alleges she told police details about the murders that were not made public. 

Kim Williams is being held at the Kaufman County Jail on a $10 million bond, said Lt. Justin Lewis, a spokesman with the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department, Wednesday afternoon.

"Out of respect for the families of the victims, during this time, we are not answering any questions at this briefing until we're able to brief the family on the events of the past several days," he said during a press conference.

McLelland family members later did meet with officials about the developments in the investigation. They released the following statement:

"We are happy an arrest has been made. We would like to thank all of the law enforcement agencies, local, state, and federal, for all of their hard work and long hours spent on this case. We understand this is just the beginning of a long judicial process. We want to thank everyone for their continued support during this ordeal."

Family members told ABC News that they learned special prosecutors will seek a change of venue for any trial involving Eric or Kim Williams. The time frame on that legal action is said to be "within the next year or two."

Lt. Lewis said the sheriff's department will hold another news conference on the case at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Over the weekend, Mr. Williams, 46, was arrested on a terroristic threat charge. Sources told News 8 evidence linked Mr. Williams to the murders of prosecutor Mark Hasse, 57, and Mr. McLelland, 63, and Mrs. McLelland, 65.

He was arrested at his home early Saturday morning and is being held at the Kaufman County Jail on a $3 million bond.

Previous to Mrs. Williams' arrest, sources told News 8 authorities were awaiting ballistic test results on weapons found in a storage locker rented in Seagoville on behalf of the former justice of the peace. More than 20 weapons were found inside the locker.

Authorities also said they were able to trace a threatening e-mail sent to county officials the day after the McLellands were fatally shot in their home back to Mr. Williams. The e-mail, sent anonymously, threatened more attacks.

The McLellands were found shot to death in their Forney home on March 31. Their deaths came two months after the assistant district attorney Hasse was killed while walking to his office at the Kaufman County Courthouse on Jan. 31.

"I don't think anybody could have written a novel that would have played out this story like it has come," said County Judge Bruce Wood. "This is a tragedy any way you look at it." 

Wood said he was in a state of "shock and disbelief" at the news of the arrests. He noted that McLelland expressed concern regarding Williams after Hasse was killed.

Mr. McLelland and Hasse were involved in the prosecution of Mr. Williams, who was convicted of stealing three computer monitors from the county and lost his license to practice law in March of 2012.

The two vigorously prosecuted Mr. Williams, with Hasse calling him a "liar," a "thief" and a crooked official." During that trial, Hasse revealed that Mr. Williams had threatened the lives of an ex-girlfriend and a Kaufman lawyer, wherein the former justice of the peace threatened to burn his house down and murder his family. 

"Mr. McLelland indicated to me very early on the day of Mark's murder that he felt like the person that needed to be investigated was Eric Williams," Wood said.

Mr. Williams is appealing his convictions.

Also during the trial, Mrs. Williams testified that she suffers from Sjogren's syndrome, an immune system disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome and that her husband served as her caregiver, according to a report by The Forney Post.

Neighbors and coworkers described Mr. and Mrs. Williams were not unfriendly but rarely went out of their way to say hello. Some said Mr. Williams was a loner. 

"I would speak to him and it was like I was invisible, he never acknowledged I was there," said Diane Childs, a neighbor. "You would never think in real life that would be happening in your neighborhood." 

Mrs. Williams worked for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman from May of 1999 until January of 2003. Records show her license was not renewed after leaving the hospital a decade ago.

"I think a lot of us thought Mexican drug cartel or the Aryan Brotherhood, something like that," Childs said. "I never dreamed it would be three houses down from us."

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