Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

January 31, 2013

Prosecutor gunned down in Kaufman

Two suspects sought in areawide manhunt

KAUFMAN — An assistant district attorney was shot and killed Thursday morning near the North Texas courthouse where he worked, and authorities said they were searching through his cases to try to find clues about why he may have been targeted.

Mark Hasse, 57, had exited his vehicle in the parking lot behind the Kaufman County Courthouse annex and was walking toward the building when a masked gunman shot him multiple times just before 9 a.m., Kaufman County authorities said. Hasse was taken away in an ambulance, but it’s unclear if he died at the hospital or en route.

Investigators were talking to witnesses and had some leads but had not arrested anyone as of late Thursday evening, Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said. He urged the public to come forward with tips. The suspect or suspects were believed to have fled in a brown or silver older model Ford Taurus. Officials didn’t immediately indicate any motive for the shooting in Kaufman, located about 33 miles southeast of Dallas.

Henderson County law enforcement officials offered assistance in the search for the suspects, and Sheriff Ray Nutt said he ordered an increased presence of deputies in various areas across the county.

The tragedy hit too close to home for many in neighboring Henderson County. Attorney Ashley Adams-McKee, who offices in Athens and is the wife of Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee, was in a county court-at-law courtroom preparing to continue a weeklong trial when the shooting occurred.

She said moments after the shooting, several child welfare officials reported hearing what sounded like gunfire. Soon after, the presiding judge in Mrs. McKee’s case entered the courtroom.

“She said, ‘Everybody be still, nobody move, we’re on lockdown,’” Mrs. McKee said. “It was just so shocking in that moment.”

After about an hour, the people in the courtroom were escorted to their vehicles. The trial was postponed until Monday.

Mrs. McKee said attorneys understand that their chosen field can sometimes involve emotional cases that have the potential to turn dangerous.

“We can’t let it stop us from doing our job,” Mr. McKee said later in the afternoon. “They’re not going to stop us from doing our job. But right now I think we’ve got our heads on a swivel a little bit more.”

“I hope the people that did this are watching because we’re very confident that 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,” Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland said Thursday afternoon.

He said his office, the county and state had suffered a “devastating loss” and called Hasse a spectacular prosecutor who would not be easily replaced. He said Hasse, who worked in a variety of areas such as organized crime, knew the dangers of his job but readily accepted them.

Hasse, who previously worked as an assistant prosecutor in Dallas County, had worked in Kaufman County for three years. McLelland said Hasse worked hard and took work home with him at night and on weekends.

Investigators gathered in a parking lot adjacent to the annex where the prosecutor was shot. Yellow tape and law enforcement vehicles blocked the area from spectators. Aulbaugh said a $20,000 reward was being offered.

“It’s going to take a long time to get over this,” said Wayne Gent, an attorney whose law office is on the courthouse square. “And the thing is — everybody’s vulnerable.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 2726192_300x300.jpg Darin Karl found Thursday on Cedar Creek Lake

    The body of a 42-year-old man who had been missing in Cedar Creek Lake was recovered on Thursday.
    The drowning victim was identified as Darin Lynn Karl of Kemp. According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, Karl and his nephew were fishing near Cedar Creek Country Club when the boat overturned, ejecting the men. 

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD approves moving monthly meeting, additional drug testing

    Discussion on meal prices for the 2014-15 school year was pulled from Thursday's Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees agenda but other items were approved that will bring about change in the district.
    By unanimous decision, the school board approved changes to the scheduled date for its monthly meetings; additional drug testing on the high school campus and modification to the graduation policy.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 drugs.tif Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 26

    On Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Athens Police Department and Keep Athens Beautiful will host the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, giving the public its seventh opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif Feud between Tool VFDs extends to city council

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Would Lake Athens residents suffer if city controls water?

    Members of Lake Athens Property Owners Association have been watching the dispute between the City of Athens and the Athens Municipal Water Authority uncertain of how this will affect their future.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Hot issue

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Surplus property to be moved or demolished

    Athens Independent School District purchased property at 404 Royall Street during its March school board meeting with the intent to square off property previously purchased by the district.
    During Thursday's school board meeting, a unanimous decision was made to designate the property as surplus and advertise the home to be moved or demolished.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0077.JPG Taste of Home Cooking School

    The Taste of Home Cooking School was held Thursday at the Cain Center. Hundreds attended the events that was sponsored by Cole A/C and the Athens Daily Review.
     

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif City, AMWA differ on future management of water supply

    The 57-year relationship between the Athens Municipal Water Authority and the City of Athens grew stormy in 2013 because of a disagreement over who should pay certain bills.
    The difference-of-opinion led to the Authority filing suit against the city last December, and the city responding by setting the wheels in motion that slated a May 10 election to decide whether to abolish AMWA.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 Easter.jpg Excited and ready

    Lexie and Isabella Hawkins are excited and ready for the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. in Kiwanis Park.  Bicycles, rabbits and lots of Easter Eggs will be waiting for you. Everyone is welcome, and of course the Easter Bunny will be there.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo