Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams was charged Thursday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of the County’s DA, his wife, and the assistant DA. Williams was under suspicion early on.
Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes told reporters that Eric Williams was questioned after the January 31st shooting death of Assistant DA Mark Hasse.
“Eric has always been on the radar. We talked to him immediately after Mark Hasse’s death and also the night of the McLelland shooting, so he’s always been on the radar. We’ve had a very broad spectrum on this investigation. We did not want to get tunnel vision on anything.”
Williams became a suspect because Hasse and McLelland prosecuted him for allegedly stealing computer monitors from the county. Williams was convicted and lost his JP job and law license. He was appealing the case when he was arrested after terroristic threats to other county workers were traced to his computer. Byrnes found it difficult to arrest a former colleague.
“We don’t ever like to see anyone that’s in the criminal justice system that runs afoul of the law. It’s unsettling for everybody, and someone who used to be a reserve officer for me. So it’s very distasteful, to say the least.”
But a relief, said the Sheriff, to county employees.
“I think if you had been around the command post a week ago and were around it today you would see that the air is much lighter in there.”
Byrnes said Williams could face the death penalty for this deadly plot. Williams’s wife Kim was arrested Wednesday. She confessed to driving the car in both shootings, and said Eric pulled trigger.