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Ex-justice of the peace, wife charged in Texas prosecutors' deaths

April 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

KAUFMAN, Texas, April 19 (UPI) -- A former justice of the peace was charged with the killings of Kaufman County, Texas, prosecutors, a day after his wife was charged in the case.

Eric Lyle Williams, 46, was charged with capital murder Thursday in the deaths of the prosecutors who handled a theft case against him, The New York Times reported.

A day earlier, Kim Lene Williams was charged with the same offense. She had named her husband as the killer and confessed her part in the plot, authorities said.

Bail was $23 million for Eric Williams and $10 million for his wife.

In January, Mark Hasse, 57, a Kaufman County prosecutor, was shot at close range in a parking lot near the courthouse. Last month, Michael McLelland, 63, the county's district attorney, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were shot and killed at their home.

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said during a news conference Thursday the three killings were a "collaborative effort" of the Williamses.

Byrnes said Kim Williams accompanied her husband in his car and was the driver in at least one of the attacks. He said Eric Williams was the actual shooter.

Hasse and Mike McLelland were involved in the prosecution of Eric Williams, who was convicted of stealing three computer monitors from Kaufman County and lost his license to practice law in 2012.

During the trial, Hasse revealed Williams had made threats against an ex-girlfriend and a lawyer, prompting Williams to make additional threats against Hasse and his family, WFAA-TV, Dallas, reported.

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