Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

April 3, 2013

KC makes arrest

Officer: No link to murders of prosecutors ‘at this time’

Athens — KAUFMAN — Kaufman County Sheriff's spokesperson Lt. Justin Lewis confirmed Wednesday the arrest of Nick Morale, 56, of Terrell on April 2 by the Texas Rangers on one charge of terroristic threat. Morale is being held in the Kaufman County Jail on $1,000,000 bond.

According to Lewis, during the course of the investigation into the murder of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, a threat was made against the safety of a Kaufman County official. The threat was investigated, leading to the arrest of Morale.

The complaint against Morale states the Crimestoppers tip line received a call on April 1 of a threatening nature. The caller stated there would be another victim, whose name was redacted in a criminal complaint against Morale released by the sheriff's office. The call details were obtained by the Eric W. Wilson, Texas Department of Public Safety.  The complaint stated the phone belonged to Nick Morale. The complaint stated Morale had blocked the caller ID feature in an effort to conceal his identity and remain anonymous.

Lewis said, “At this time, there is nothing to link Mr. Morale to the investigation of the murders of Mike and Cynthia McLelland or Mark Haase. The investigation into the death of the McLellands and Haase is ongoing.”

McLelland and his wife were killed early Saturday in their home outside of Forney. The murders occurred just two months after Haase, a Kaufman County assistant district attorney, was gunned down in a parking lot near the Kaufman County Courthouse.

Meanwhile, a memorial service for the McLellands is scheduled for today at 1 p.m. at Sunnyvale First Baptist Church located at 3018 N. Beltline Road in Sunnyvale. The couple's funeral will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Wortham. According to the Associated Press, burial will follow in Wortham, Mr. McLelland's hometown. Mrs. McLelland will be cremated and her ashes buried in the casket with her husband.

The Kaufman County Courthouse and other county offices will be closed on Thursday at 11 a.m. The offices will remain closed the remainder of the day to honor the McLellands. Offices will reopen on Friday.

KCSO released a statement informing the media that it would be updated at the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center with all future information on the murders. The release read in part, “To alleviate the pressures put on the businesses on the square, the citizens trying to enter into the courthouse to conduct daily business, other victims of crime coming into the courthouse who are frightened by the extensive media presence, as well as the need for quick entry and exit by emergency personnel into the courthouse area in the event of a medical or fire emergency, all information will be released from the Law Enforcement Center.

Kaufman County Crimestoppers is currently offering a reward of $100,00 for information leading to the arrest of the individual who is responsible for the Haase murder. A reward for information about the McLelland murders has not been announced yet. KCSO asks anyone with information on the murders to contact Kaufman County Crimestoppers' tip line at 877-847-7522 or online at

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