DA slain, police consider supremacist link

March 31, 2013 at 12:29 PM   |   0 comments

KAUFMAN, Texas, March 31 (UPI) -- Investigators in Texas said they were considering the possibility the shooting death of a prosecutor at his home may be part of a white supremacist plot.

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, 63, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were found shot to death in their home near Forney, Texas, Saturday -- two months after Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, 57, was shot to death while walking from his car to the Kaufman County Court House.

The Texas Department of Public Safety had issued a warning in December that the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood may be "actively planning retaliation against law enforcement officials" who investigated and prosecuted members of the gang, including its leaders, The Dallas Morning News reported.

"High ranking members ... are involved in issuing orders to inflict 'mass casualties or death' to law enforcement officials who were involved in cases where Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are facing life sentences or the death penalty," the bulletin said.

McClelland said after Hasse's death he would put away the "scum" who killed his "stellar prosecutor."

"I hope that the people that did this are watching, because we're very confident that we're going to find you," McLelland told reporters at the time. "We're going to pull you out of whatever hole you're in, we're going to bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."

A law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the newspaper the McLellands' door appeared to have been kicked in and described the scene as awful.

"There are shell casings everywhere," the official said. "This is unprecedented. This is unbelievable. This is huge."

"Until we know what happened, I really can't confirm that it's related [to Hasse's death], but you always have to assume until it's proven otherwise," Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said.

At the time of Hasse's death, police said he was looking into the prison gang Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, ABT, for possible racketeering charges.

Kaufman defense attorney Eric Smenner said employees of the district attorney's office should be placed under immediate police protection.

"They need to shut the office down for a while," he said. "I think everybody there is a target. They're not safe in the streets in downtown Kaufman. They're not safe in their homes."

"It looks like somebody is making a pretty concentrated effort to target the most important people in that office," he said.

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