Texas DA shot down in his home
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:18 p.m.
KAUFMAN, Texas — Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and was extra careful when answering the door at his home.
“I'm ahead of everybody else because, basically, I'm a soldier,” the 23-year Army veteran said in an interview less than two weeks ago.
On Saturday, he and his wife were found shot to death in their rural home outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas.
While investigators gave no motive for the killings, Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said: “It appears this was not a random act.
“Everybody's a little on edge and a little shocked,” he said.
The slayings occurred less than two weeks after Colorado's prison chief was shot to death at his front door, apparently by an ex-convict, and a couple of months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was killed in a parking lot a block from his courthouse office. No arrests have been made in Hasse's slaying Jan. 31.
McLelland, 63, is the 13th prosecutor killed in the United States since the National Association of District Attorneys began keeping count in the 1960s.
Sheriff David Byrnes would not give details on Sunday of how the killings unfolded and said there was nothing to indicate for certain whether the DA's slaying was connected to Hasse's.
Sgt. Joe Roybal, El Paso County, Colo., sheriff's spokesman, said investigators had found no evidence so far connecting the Texas killings to the Colorado case, but added, “We're examining all possibilities.”
Colorado's corrections director, Tom Clements, was killed March 19 when he answered the doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs. Evan Spencer Ebel, a white supremacist and former Colorado inmate suspected of shooting Clements, died in a shootout with Texas deputies two days later about 100 miles from Kaufman.
McLelland himself, in an Associated Press interview shortly after the Colorado slaying, raised the possibility that Hasse was gunned down by a white supremacist gang.
McLelland, elected DA in 2010, said his office had prosecuted several cases against racist gangs, who have a strong presence in Kaufman County, a mostly rural area dotted with subdivisions, with a population of about 104,000.
“We put some real dents in the Aryan Brotherhood around here in the past year,” he said.
In recent years, the DA's office also prosecuted a case in which a justice of the peace was found guilty of theft and burglary and another case in which a man was convicted of killing his former girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter.
McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went, even to walk his dog around town, a bedroom community for the Dallas area. He figured assassins were more likely to try to attack him outside. He said he had warned all his employees to be constantly on the alert.
“The people in my line of work are going to have to get better at it,” he said of dealing with the danger, “because they're going to need it more in the future.”
The number of attacks on prosecutors, judges and senior law enforcement officers has spiked in the past three years.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shale oil, gas drilling boom wins favor with labor unions, thwarting environmentalists
- Space station receives Easter cargo delivery
- Navy endorses 24-hour sleep cycle for sailors
- Postal Service overhaul expected to appeal to Dems
- Warnings on youths, codeine unheeded; lack of effectiveness, dangers had been raised
- Study of corn waste as fuel source finds gasoline less damaging to atmosphere
- Wyoming officials to drill at landslide’s crest
- Art from ‘Dick and Jane’ series set for auction
- Ruling on Cleveland police chase questioned
- Seafood study: Up to 32 percent imported to U.S. is caught illegally