Athens Review, Athens, Texas

In the News

April 3, 2013

Kaufman County officials say arrest not related to slayings

KAUFMAN — The following release was issued during a press conference Tuesday in Kaufman:

This release is to confirm the arrest of Nick Morale, 56, of Terrell, Texas. Mr. Morale was arrested on April 2, 2013, by the Texas Rangers on one charge of Terroristic Threat (Texas Penal Code 22.07). Mr. Morale was arraigned this morning following his arrest and is being held in the Kaufman County Jail on $1,000,000 bond.

During the course of the investigation into the murders of Mike and Cynthia McLelland, a threat against the safety of a county official was received. That threat was then investigated, leading to the arrest of Mr. Morale at a location in Kaufman County.

Specific details of this investigation and arrest will not be discussed at this time. A copy of the arrest warrant affidavit will be provided to the media with personal identifying information redacted.

At this time, there is nothing to link Mr. Morale to the investigations of the murders of Mike and Cynthia McLelland or Mark Hasse.

Making threats against persons carry criminal penalties under both state and federal law – with some of those penalties being severe. All threats will be taken seriously, investigated, and prosecuted in order to ensure the safety of citizens and our public officials.

The investigation into the murders of Mike and Cynthia McLelland is ongoing. Investigators from many law enforcement agencies are working on leads that have been received on the tip line and through other channels. Those tips are all being investigated and vetted, thoroughly.

Please be aware that although a great number of resources are being utilized in the investigation into the murders, the daily activities of all the law enforcement agencies involved in this joint investigation continue. Law enforcement actions will continue to occur within the community and may have no bearing on this case.

The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office would like the citizens of Kaufman County to understand and be aware that security is being stepped up throughout the community. Sheriff David Byrnes asks citizens to be aware of their surroundings, always err on the side of caution, and never hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Anyone with any information on the murders of Mike and Cynthia McLelland are encouraged to contact the Kaufman County Crimestoppers tip line at 877-TIPSKCC (877-847-7522) or online at KaufmanCountyCrimestoppers.org.

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