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ROCKWALL -- It's been quite clear for some time that Kim Williams has turned against her husband, Eric, who allegedly murdered two Kaufman County prosecutors and one of their wives in 2013.

She filed for divorce. She led prosecutors to Lake Tawakani, where Department of Public Safety divers recovered a gun used in the January 2013 killing of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.

And then, Eric Williams' defense attorneys wanted to take her deposition. They asserted that she had effectively waived her Fifth Amendment rights by cooperating with the authorities.

Dallas County District Judge Mike Snipes, who is presiding over the case, rejected Mr. Williams' attorneys' request to take the deposition Thursday. The ruling came during a hearing held in Rockwall County, where the case has been moved.

Hasse was gunned down on Jan. 31, 2013, as he walked to the downtown Kaufman courthouse. Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were shot to death in their Forney home over Easter weekend two months later. Eric and Kim Williams both face capital murder charges.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Eric Williams, but have not said if they plan to do so for Kim Williams.

Matthew Seymour, an attorney for Mr. Williams, told Snipes that they wanted to Kim Williams' deposition for background purposes only, about Eric Williams, their relationship, and their life together.

'It is not an inquiry to explore the indicted offenses or Mrs. Williams' role as a possible accomplice in these offenses,' he said.

Special Prosecutor Bill Wirskye took no position on the motion, but said he could not find anything in the law that would give Snipes the authority to force an alleged accomplice to give a deposition.

Attorneys for Kim Williams took a strong position that they were invoking her 'blanket' Fifth Amendment rights. They argued that even giving a deposition that was only for background purposes could have unforeseen negative consequences for their client.

'Potentially, anything said in another setting could be used somehow in a way or try to counter her mitigation claims,' attorney Paul Johnson said.

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

The trial has been scheduled for December.

Eric Williams is currently being held in the Rockwall County Jail on $23 million bail.

E-mail teiserer@wfaa.com

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