Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

March 31, 2013

Texas DA slain in his home; had armed himself

Athens —

KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) — Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was assassinated two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and took extra care when answering the door at his home.

"I'm ahead of everybody else because, basically, I'm a soldier," the 23-year Army veteran boasted in an interview less than two weeks ago.

On Saturday, he and his wife were found dead in their home just outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas, killed in an attack for which authorities have given no motive.

"Everybody's a little on edge and a little shocked," Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said. "It appears this was not a random act."

The killings came less than two weeks after Colorado's prison chief was gunned down at his front door by a white-supremacist ex-convict, and two months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death in a parking lot a block from his office Jan. 31. No arrests have been made in Hasse's slaying.

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes confirmed Sunday that the McLellands had been shot. As for whether their deaths were related to Hasse's slaying, Byrnes said there was nothing to indicate that "for sure," but declined to discuss it further during a news conference.

McLelland himself, in an Associated Press interview, raised the possibility that Hasse was gunned down by a white supremacist gang. McLelland, elected DA in 2010, said that Hasse hadn't prosecuted any cases against white supremacists but that his office had handled several, and those gangs had a strong presence in the area.

"We put some real dents in the Aryan Brotherhood around here in the past year," McLelland said after Colorado's corrections director, Tom Clements, was shot to death March 19 when he answered the doorbell.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said recently the FBI was checking to see if Hasse's killing could be related to Clements'. Evan Spencer Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist who authorities believe killed Clements, died in a March 21 shootout with Texas deputies about 100 miles from Kaufman.

McLelland, 63, said after Hasse's slaying that he carried a gun everywhere he went, even to walk his dog. He figured that was where assassins were more likely to try to get him. 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 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 in the U.S. has spiked in the past three years, according to Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the Santa Clara County, Calif., District Attorney's Office who tracks such cases.

But they're still rare. McLelland is the 13th prosecutor in the U.S. that the National Association of District Attorneys has recorded killed since the organization began keeping track in the 1960s.

For about a month after Hasse's slaying, sheriff's deputies were parked in the district attorney's driveway, said Sam Rosander, a McLelland neighbor.

The FBI and the Texas Rangers joined the investigation into the McLellands' deaths.

McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were the parents of two daughters and three sons. One son is a police officer in Dallas. The couple had moved into the home a few years ago, Rozell said.

"Real friendly, became part of our community quickly," Rozell said. "They were a really pleasant happy couple."

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 7-23 Victoria.jpg Emotional response given to Victoria's death

    The tragic news of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt’s violent death set off an emotional response on Monday, with words of consolation for the child’s family and anger at the girl’s mother who admitted to taking her life. But mostly sorrow at the loss of one so young.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD readies for annual backpack distribution

    Athens Independent School District and the Help Center are teaming up once again to provide backpacks and supplies to students in need.
    The annual Back-to-School Bash is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Athens High School gym during the family fun day.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Open house grace house.jpg Open house at Grace House transition location

    Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake, a faith-based transitional home for women, held an open house on Monday evening. The facility for women is 6,000 square feet on 13 acres in Tool.
    Grace House includes a kitchen and a classroom equipped with computers for training and practice, as well as dorm-type rooms for the residents.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0007.JPG MISD approves re-election order

    The Malakoff Independent School Board of Trustees approved their order of elections on Monday, as all five members are up for re-election on Nov. 4.
    President Jason Dalrymple, Vice President Gary Woolverton, Secretary Daymon Sims and Rick Vieregge (appointed to fill Todd LaRue's seat) are the four spots up for the 4-year terms. LaRue resigned from the board on June 16.
    Tim Mattingly, who was appointed in February, is up for election to fill the remaining two years of that term.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif BISD tax rate, meal prices remain same

    The tax rate for Brownsboro Independent School District is expected to remain the same for the 2014-15 school year following Monday's school board meeting.
    Superintendent Dr. Chris Moran recommended the rate of $1.46 per $100 evaluation remain in place, despite a slight increase in the preliminary budget.
    The maintenance and operations rate will remain at $1.17, while the interest and sinking rate remains 29 cents.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif County names those to fill unexpired terms

    The Henderson County Commissioners Court named individuals to fill unexpired terms on two boards during a brief meeting on Tuesday.
    The court confirmed Gregorio Galvan as a new member of the Henderson County Library Advisory Board. Galvan, the owner and operator of Papa Tilo’s restaurant, will serve the remainder of the term vacated by Gloria Glaspy.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 jeff howard.jpg Howard named top assistant in Region 7

    The Texas Association of Secondary School Principals recognizes outstanding principals and assistant principals from the 20 regional education service centers in the state each year.
    School administrators are nominated and chosen by their peers within their regions, and then applications from these recipients are reviewed by the TASSP Principal Image Committee who selects the finalists.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Knife-wielding man arrested

    The Athens Police Department arrested a 34-year-old man who allegedly entered an apartment early Saturday and injured another man using a pocket knife.

    July 22, 2014

  • fair Henderson County Rural Resource Fair

    When you find yourself in need of help, it's important to know where to go. The need to know is what drew a crowd to the Trinidad ISD cafeteria Monday morning.
    Approximately 30 non-profit vendors were on hand for the first Rural Resource Fair. The vendors were there to provide information to the public about available resources in Henderson County.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mission Minded

    Eight ladies are in Garland to teach the word of Christ to the area’s Arabic-speaking population.
    Makaye Key of Eustace is part of a group of ladies known as the G.M.A.’s or Girls Missionary Auxilary.

    July 22, 2014