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Former Texas justice of the peace sentenced to death

Eric Williams, the former justice of the peace sentenced to death for killing a prosecutor's wife, faces two more trials for killing the top Kaufman County prosecutor and an assistant.

By Frances Burns

ROCKWALL, Texas, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Eric Williams, a former Texas justice of the peace, was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing a prosecutor's wife because he was angry about a theft conviction.

After listening to the penalty verdict, Williams was forced to remain in the courtroom to hear statements from the family of Cynthia McLelland.

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Williams' wife, Kim, who admitted driving the getaway car and helping her husband dump the guns he used, testified Tuesday that Cynthia McLelland was "collateral damage." Williams faces two more trials for the alleged murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.

"There is a hole in my life, and try as I might, I can't fill that," Nathan Foreman, Cynthia McLelland's son, told Williams.

Prosecutors said that Williams decided to kill McLelland and Hasse after he was convicted in 2012 of stealing county computer equipment. The conviction cost him his job as a justice of the peace and he was disbarred.

"I so believed in Eric and everything he told me," Kim Williams testified Tuesday. "His anger was my anger."

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Hasse was shot in the parking lot of the Kaufman County courthouse in January 2013 and the McLellands killed in their Forney, Texas, home two months later.

The trial was moved to Rockwall County.

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